PCB to stage remaining PSL matches in Abu Dhabi, secures pending approvals from UAE

·3-min read

Karachi, May 20 (PTI) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is set to stage the remaining matches of the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League in Abu Dhabi after receiving all outstanding approvals and exemptions from the UAE government.

There was uncertainty regarding the completion of the T20 league which was suspended after 14 games in March following cases of COVID-19 inside its bio-bubble.

'Pakistan Cricket Board has confirmed it has received all outstanding approvals and exemptions from the United Arab Emirates government for the staging of the remaining 20 HBL Pakistan Super League matches in Abu Dhabi,' the board said in a statement.

On Wednesday, PCB had said it would be forced to postpone the remaining PSL 6 matches if it doesn't get required approvals from the relevant authorities in the UAE in the next 24 hours.

'We are delighted with this development as the remaining hurdles in the staging of the remaining HBL PSL 6 matches in Abu Dhabi have been overcome and all systems are now good to go,' PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said.

'We are grateful to the UAE government, National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, Emirates Cricket Board and Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their support and patronage in ensuring all final obstacles were removed, which has firmly put us in a position to complete our marquee event.' Following the suspension of the league, the PCB had scheduled the remaining matches from June 1 to 20. However, the dates are yet to be confirmed by the Board.

The Board said it will now 'hold an online meeting with the six franchise owners later in the day to update them about the progress made as well as to finalise all details.' 'The PCB, in consultation with the team owners, will now work at pace to finalise all event-related arrangements, details of which will be shared in due course,' Khan said.

The board decided to hold the remaining matches in the UAE after the National Command and Operations Authority, which monitors the COVID-19 situation in Pakistan, had advised it against hosting the games again in Karachi.

A seven-member PCB team has been in the UAE since last week to get required approvals from the authorities through the Emirates Cricket Board.

The Board, however, will face logistical hurdles in staging the matches since sources say that the UAE government has kept a mandatory 7-day quarantine for all players and officials in Abu Dhabi and a series of COVID-19 tests before the start of the tournament.

The foreign and local players and officials will also have to undergo a three-day quarantine in Pakistan before boarding their chartered flights to Abu Dhabi.

The issue for the PCB is that the national team has to leave for the West Indies around July 20 for a series of Test and T20 matches.

The sixth edition of the tournament was postponed on March 4 after as many as seven players had returned positive for COVID-19. A few of the PCB officials also tested positive during and after the league was held in Karachi.

The PSL initially was launched in UAE in 2016 by the PCB when overseas players were not willing to come and play in Pakistan due to security concerns.

But since 2018, the PCB has managed to hold a significant number of PSL matches at home; in fact it had scheduled all PSL 6 matches in Pakistan.


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