20pc crowds to be allowed to watch PSL 2021 in person: PCB

Published February 4, 2021
The PSL 2021 will be played in Karachi and Lahore from February 20 to March 22. — Photo: PSL/File
The PSL 2021 will be played in Karachi and Lahore from February 20 to March 22. — Photo: PSL/File

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has allowed 20 per cent audiences to attend the HBL Pakistan Super League 2021, which will be played in Karachi and Lahore from February 20 to March 22, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Thursday.

The decision means around 7,500 ticketed spectators will be allowed to watch matches at Karachi's National Stadium per match day, while around 5,500 will be able to attend each match day at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

"During the course of the event, the NCOC and the PCB will continue to work together and monitor the situation before a decision to increase crowd numbers for the three playoffs and the final is made," the board said in a statement.

The NCOC reached the decision following a "detailed and comprehensive briefing" by the PCB officials, in which they assured national authorities that the event organisers and the PCB will strictly follow the government's Covid-19 standard operating procedures, including social distancing.

In the wake of the decision, the PCB will soon announce its ticketing policy to provide further clarity to the fans on how they can purchase tickets and the process to enter and exit the venues during the matches.

Commenting on the development, PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said he was “thankful to the NCOC for trusting the PCB and allowing limited fans to watch live action of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2021. This is an endorsement that the PCB is an institution which is capable of planning and then successfully implementing Covid-19 SOPs during its marquee event being staged in Pakistan for the second successive year."

“Fans are the PCB’s biggest asset and we are delighted that no matter a small number, but some will be able to have access to the matches," he added.

Mani said while not everyone will get an opportunity to watch the matches due to the limited number of seats, "these are baby-steps and considering that most of the sport events are being played in empty stadium[s], this is a positive achievement and step in the right direction."

“I am optimistic that if we can maintain strict protocols during the HBL PSL 2021 matches we will have a strong case for more fans in the 2021-22 season in which we have to host high-profile international teams such as New Zealand, England and the West Indies as well as quality domestic events, including the National T20 Cup, Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and the Pakistan Cup,” he emphasised.

Opinion

PML-N bad cop outfoxed
Updated 13 Jun 2021

PML-N bad cop outfoxed

The feel-good factor can cancel out some of the very negative perceptions about the PTI among low-income voters.
Sink or swim
13 Jun 2021

Sink or swim

What have schools learnt during Covid?
Decoding Digitisation
Updated 12 Jun 2021

Decoding Digitisation

The scope of information technology or digitisation continues to be discussed in a rather limited manner in mainstream discourse.

Editorial

Covid strategy
Updated 13 Jun 2021

Covid strategy

It is critical for govt to demonstrate to the public how badly health, business and education have suffered during the pandemic.
13 Jun 2021

Women in Balochistan

THE Balochistan government seems to be taking steps to improve women’s integration into society and the workforce...
13 Jun 2021

Deprived of cricket

THE federal cabinet has disallowed PTV to enter into an agreement with an Indian company for broadcast rights to...
12 Jun 2021

Feel-good budget

WE have been here before. Every time a government gets some fiscal space it immediately shifts gears to growth,...
Rep Omar’s tweet
Updated 12 Jun 2021

Rep Omar’s tweet

Over the last several decades, America has been instrumental in destabilising a number of Muslim states.
12 Jun 2021

Poor health indicators

IF the coronavirus has taught the world anything, it is that the old maxim ‘health is wealth’ is true. Though...