KARACHI: Pakistan cricket will be facing the real impact of Covid 19 pandemic in its remaining cricket season starting in September which include holding of unfinished Pakistan Super League 5 games as well as hosting Zimbabwe and Bangladesh teams.
Reliable sources told Dawn News on Sunday that because of Covid 19, Pakistan Cricket Board could be facing problems in staging remaining PSL 5 this year but PCB is determined to find a window for the matches.
“Finishing PSL season 5 is very important for PCB as they want to decide the winner in a logical manner and almost all franchises are in favour of hosting remaining matches of PSL 5 games later this year,” the sources said.
“The PCB is also ready to host these matches without foreign players but expecting a few foreign players to come for the playoffs and the final. The Board is depending on the goodwill of the PSL franchises with their foreign players to pay off in this regard.”
Meanwhile, after next month’s England series, Pakistan’s two important engagements are the away series against South Africa and the home series against Zimbabwe, the fate of which still hangs in the balance, the sources revealed.
“Pakistan’s away series against South Africa (Sept-Oct, three ODIs and three T20s) is facing a bit of uncertainty as Cricket South Africa is still awaiting Govt clearance.
“Meanwhile, Pakistan home series against Zimbabwe in November comprising three ODIs and three T20s is also facing uncertainty at the moment as Pakistan Government has yet to decide on resumption of major sports and cricket activites in the country,” sources said.
“The final decision on Zimbabwe tour here will possibly be made a month before the scheduled series. “The PCB is keen to host home series to continue revival of international cricket in Pakistan which started earlier this year with home tests against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.”
However, as per the PCB sources Pakistan’s tour to New Zealand in Nov-Dec for two Tests and three T20s will go ahead as per schedule as the Covid-19 situation in New Zealand is very much under control.The sources added that Pakistan team will be reaching New Zealand quite early to complete the 14-day quarantine period before start of the series.
It’s also learnt that the PCB is also in early talks with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to host remaining one Test and ODI which was originally scheduled in Pakistan last April but was postponed due to Covid-19 crisis. “There are two possible windows for the remaining part of Pakistan series against Bangladesh,” said sources.
“PCB in early talks with BCB and can suggest window of October or April next year after PSL season 6 to send their team to play the Test and ODI,” the sources told Dawn News.
Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2020