After a foreign player, who had left last week displayed symptoms of the coronavirus, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has postponed the last few remaining matches of the fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
The knockout matches of PSL were scheduled to be played in Lahore today (Tuesday) – Peshawar Zalmi was scheduled to play against Multan Sultans in the afternoon while Lahore Qalandars was set to face Karachi Kings in the evening. However, the semi-finals and the final have been postponed indefinitely keeping in mind the prevailing situation.
Addressing a press conference alongside other PCB officials, CEO PCB Wasim Khan said that the decision was taken to ensure the safety of the players, match officials, commentators and ground staff. Though he did not name the player to maintain privacy, Khan said that players from all the teams, the broadcasters and everyone else associated with the tournament would be tested for the virus.
At least 14 foreign players had decided to return to their own countries last week after the PCB gave them the option to leave amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In an official statement, the board said, “The PCB, as part of its duty of care, has made arrangements for all the players and players support staff of the four semi-finalists, match officials, franchise owners and production crew to undergo precautionary tests and has strongly advised them to wait for the results prior to undertaking any travel.”
“This is an unprecedented situation, which is evolving with each passing day. The PCB has closely monitored the situation and had taken precautionary measures including consultation with relevant authorities and temperature screening of players, officials and media on match and non-match days.”
“The PCB believes it has made the right decisions in the lead up to the postponement of the tournament that included consulting the team owners, holding the matches behind closed doors, allowing the players the option to withdraw from the tournament, rescheduling of the matches and reducing the number of event days,” Khan added.
While PCB has suspended its all domestic competitions and cricket activities, for now, the PCB chief asserted that the semi-final and final matches would be rescheduled before the next season of the PSL.
Meanwhile is being reported that Alex Hales of Karachi Kings has shown symptoms of coronavirus and is currently undergoing tests.