THE Pakistan Cricket Board’s recent announcement that the remaining matches of the Pakistan Super League’s sixth edition would resume from June 1 has not met with a lot of enthusiasm because of the resurgence of the coronavirus in the region. Besides, several key overseas players who appeared in the League in February-March, might not be available this time because of international commitments. PSL-6 came to an abrupt halt in March with just 14 out of 34 matches completed after seven people participating in the tournament tested positive for Covid-19, amid reports of gross violation of the bio-secure environment by players, officials and franchise owners. Concerns about the safety of players and fans are bound to increase if the matches resume in a month’s time — the third wave of the virus has been particularly harsh and has already resulted in a large number of deaths in the country. Besides, the franchises themselves, although they have invested millions of rupees in the League, are concerned about how the absence of some big cricketing names could dent the popularity and competitiveness of the matches. The PCB, which came under scathing criticism for its poor handling of PSL-6 in March, has vowed to make foolproof arrangements for the remaining games in June that would include robust and strict implementation of the protocols as well as maintaining a zero-tolerance approach towards all those who breach the SOPs. The cricket governing body has also decided to hire a globally recognised safety management company that specialises in providing Covid-safe technology solutions.

Having said that, nothing can be predicted about the severity of the pandemic nor of the response of the players or the public if PSL-6 matches do go ahead in June as scheduled. Hopefully, the PCB will promptly reschedule the remaining League games after assessing the situation towards the end of this month and not take any undue risks that could damage Pakistan’s flagship cricket event and hurt its credibility.

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2021

Opinion

No entry, no Eid
12 May 2021

No entry, no Eid

On this Eid, amid this mess, many chairs at muted celebratory meals will remain empty.
Election night confusion
Updated 11 May 2021

Election night confusion

Poll manipulation in Pakistan occurs in the run-up to elections and on election day itself.

Editorial

12 May 2021

PM’s Saudi visit

PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan has concluded a productive visit to Saudi Arabia at a time when bilateral relations ...
12 May 2021

A new intifada?

THE situation in the occupied territories over the past few days has been incendiary, with tensions boiling over as...
Updated 12 May 2021

SOP violations

ON Monday, Sindh Police officials were given a well-deserved slap on the wrist by a judicial magistrate in Karachi...
11 May 2021

Kabul massacre

AFGHANISTAN is a land that has seen plenty of massacres during decades of unrest. However, despite this almost...
Divisive move
Updated 11 May 2021

Divisive move

The whole point of these reforms is to ensure that all major political stakeholders are on board, and that there is a consensus.
11 May 2021

Bank loan concerns

THE combined gross non-performing loan portfolio of the country’s banks and DFIs increased marginally by 2.6pc or...