The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has postponed the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) due to rising COVID-19 cases among players and officials involved in the tournament.

As many as seven players and one support staff official have tested positive for the virus which led to question marks over PCB’s bio-secure bubble arrangements and reservations from foreign players. Quetta Gladiators’ Tom Banton and Islamabad United’s Fawad Ahmed and Lewis Gregory were among the players who tested positive.

Following the increase in cases, international players were also given the option to leave for their home countries with Karachi Kings’ Dan Christian expected to be the first to leave today.


PCB also issued a press release on social media which reads: “Following a meeting with the team owners and considering the health and wellbeing of all participants is paramount, the Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to postpone the HBL Pakistan Super League 6 with immediate effect. The decision was made after seven cases were reported in the competition, which had started on February 20.”

“The PCB, as an immediate step, will focus on the safe and secure passage of all participants, and arrange repeat PCR tests, vaccines and isolation facilities to the six participating sides,” it added.

PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan and Director – Commercial Babar Hamid will hold a media conference at the National Stadium in Karachi at 3pm today to provide further updates.

Meanwhile, Hassan Ali, Shadab Khan, Ravi Bopara and Mohammad Hafeez expressed their disappointment over the latest developments.

While, Faheem Ashraf took to Twitter and wrote: “O Muslims, despair is disbelief. Indeed, in every deed of Allah, there is good.”

Later, in the press conference, Wasim said: “To make any bio-secure bubble successful, it needs partnership and sacrifice from everyone,” he said. “It is not about the blame game right now. There are a lot of emotions at the moment. Franchises have invested a lot of money and I know that there will be reactions from different sectors.

“But as I said before, to make any bio-secure bubble, everyone needs to be on the same page, that’s how we managed to conduct a successful domestic season. I understand why they [franchise owners] are saying things like these but it is not about the blame game, its about Pakistan cricket and it’s welfare. It is not the time to fight right now. It is time to accept collective responsibility.”

Wasim further said that his own proposal was to postpone the event for five days, continue testing but the franchises rejected the idea.

“My own proposal was to postpone the tournament for five days and see where it goes,” he said. “But the franchises made it clear that the players are anxious and not in the mental state to continue with the tournament.”

Wasim also reiterated that the SOP’s were shared with the franchises before the competition but no bio-secure bubble can be successful without self-policing.

“The protocols were shared with the franchises on February 18,” he said. “We are not sure where or how the players contracted coronavirus. You cannot make any bio-secure bubble successful without self-policing.”