LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is keen to go ahead with its ‘ambitious’ plan to complete the remaining 20 matches of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) between June 1 to 17 in Karachi, while also looking at UAE as the possible venues in case the league matches are shifted from Pakistan due to the severe Covid-19 wave.
On Friday, the PCB held a discussion via Zoom call with all the six franchises but the meeting failed to reach a final decisions. However, all concerned parties expressed their resolve to start the arrangements while keeping a close contact with the UAE authorities.
Later, the PCB also issued a press release which also raises several questions over the hosting of the remaining matches since there are big challenges ahead due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions which include issuance of the visas and travelling and logistic arrangements.
“The PCB and the six franchise owners met today via a Zoom call to discuss the remaining 20 matches of the HBL Pakistan Super League 6. The group had a 36-degree discussion where feedback from the National Command and Operation Centre was also considered,” a PCB press release stated.
UAE being considered as alternate venue in June
“The following were the key outcomes:
“The UAE has emerged as a preferred venue for the remaining 20 matches; As the Eid holidays period has already started in both the countries and the Pakistan men’s national cricket team has to depart for the United Kingdom on June 23, the PCB will use this time to work with the Emirates Cricket Board to check if the event can be successfully delivered within the available time.”
“During the holiday period, the PCB will work on a revised tournament schedule while it will liaise with the ECB in relation to finalising playing and training facilities, hotel bookings, ground transportation and visitors’ visas. PCB will carry out a detailed financial and risk assessment as well as cost analysis before reporting back to the franchises, who will then review before a decision on the event venue is confirmed.”
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan added: “We had an interactive and productive meeting in which we considered a number of factors. While the UAE has emerged as a preferred venue, a number of challenges remain, which will be worked through over the coming days. We remain committed to doing everything possible to complete the HBL PSL 6.”
Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2021