The Pakistan Cricket Board says “strong” COVID-19 well being and security protocols are in place forward of its month-long home Twenty20 competitors in Karachi and Lahore, with a number of international cricketers collaborating in a six-team occasion.
“Within the present-day setting, all worldwide sport occasions are going forward as a result of there may be extra consciousness and details about the pandemic,” PCB chairman Ramiz Raja advised The Related Press on the eve of Pakistan Tremendous League.
Karachi will host the primary leg of the event starting on Thursday earlier than the league strikes to Lahore on February 10. Lahore can even host the playoffs and the ultimate on February 27.
Final yr, the PSL was postponed in March after six gamers examined constructive for COVID-19 in a bio-secure bubble, and the league was switched to Abu Dhabi in June. The PCB has employed the identical firm for the seventh version of its marquee occasion which efficiently created the bio-secure preparations in Abu Dhabi final yr.
“The PCB, regardless of delivering 267 matches in 10 home occasions in 2021, will not be taking something with no consideration,” Raja mentioned. “Now we have designed and put in place strong well being and security protocols for the well-being of all (PSL) members.”
The virus has already brought about issues earlier than the primary recreation between defending champion Multan Sultans and Karachi Kings kicks off at Nationwide Stadium on Thursday. At the least three gamers, together with Peshawar Zalmi’s wicketkeeper-batter Kamran Akmal, and 5 help workers members examined constructive final Saturday when the groups started to assemble in Karachi.
The event’s technical committee has allowed Peshawar to incorporate Pakistan worldwide Imam-ul-Haq as a substitute for Akmal.
A spike in constructive COVID-19 instances in Karachi compelled authorities to impose lockdowns in high-risk areas. The federal government had initially allowed full crowds within the PSL, however as a result of spike within the constructive instances, now solely 25 % of spectators can be allowed contained in the stadium which implies round 8,000 followers can be allowed to attend.
13 gamers per aspect wanted
Pakistan has reported 1,381,152 instances and 29,122 deaths from the coronavirus because the pandemic started in 2020.
In contrast to the final two seasons when the PSL was performed over two legs, the PCB has no plans to both postpone or cancel the occasion this yr in case there are COVID-19 outbreaks among the many gamers. It has been deliberate that the league will restart after per week’s break by resetting the bio-bubble from scratch.
Whereas there are 20 gamers every within the six groups, within the occasion of any outbreaks, matches can be allowed to go forward if 13 gamers can be found on both sides.
Preparation underway for the PSL at Nationwide Stadium, Karachi, on Tuesday. – AP
Regardless of the specter of virus surrounding the PSL, Raja sees the presence of international gamers as a constructive side for Pakistan which can be internet hosting 4 main nations this yr, together with Australia for the primary time in Pakistan since 1998.
Johnson Charles of West Indies, New Zealand’s Colin Munro, Rilee Rossouw of South Africa and Chris Jordan and Alex Hales of England are among the international cricketers who can be taking part in within the PSL. The PSL has seen a number of Pakistan cricketers emerge internationally over time with bowlers like Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali and Shahnawaz Dahani amongst them. And Raja sees the extent of shut competitors among the many six franchises to develop.
“The PSL has strengthened its fame and profile as probably the most aggressive and difficult leagues, which makes it thrilling to observe regionally and internationally,” he mentioned.
Pakistan received three main ICC awards final week with Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan being voted ODI and T20 cricketers of 2021, respectively, and Shaheen Afridi taking the celebrated Sir Garfield award for cricketer of the yr.
All three can be main their groups within the PSL with Babar captaining Karachi Kings, Rizwan defending the title by main Multan whereas Shaheen has been named because the skipper of Lahore Qalandars.
Islamabad United can be led by Shadab Khan and Quetta Gladiators — for which legendary Shahid Afridi can be taking part in — can be captained by former Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Schedule (Karachi leg)
- 1. Karachi Kings v Multan Sultans – January 27
- 2. Quetta Gladiators v Peshawar Zalmi – January 28
- 3. Multan Sultans v Lahore Qalandars – January 29
- 4. Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators – January 29
- 5. Peshawar Zalmi v Islamabad United – January 30
- 6. Karachi Kings v Lahore Qalandars – January 30
- 7. Quetta Gladiators v Multan Sultans – January 31
- 8. Islamabad United v Multan Sultans – February 1
- 9. Peshawar Zalmi v Lahore Qalandars – February 2
- 10. Quetta Gladiators v Islamabad United – February 3
- 11. Karachi Kings v Peshawar Zalmi – February 4
- 12. Islamabad United v Lahore Qalandars – February 5
- 13. Peshawar Zalmi v Multan Sultans – February 5.