Friday May 07, 2021
Some franchises are not in favour of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) plan to hold the remaining matches of the HBL PSL 2021 in June which they say is “risky”.
“It is risky. I think human life is more precious than cricket and the PCB should postpone the remaining matches and should not put the life of players and officials at risk,” a very influential franchise source told ‘The News’ on Thursday.
The PCB has rescheduled the remaining 20 matches for June 1-20 here at the National Stadium.
Sources said that the Board should wait for some suitable time when Covid-19 has lost its sting and the situation has turned normal.
“You see the Board had to postpone the event in March because of this issue. At that time the Covid spike was not as intense as it is now. So why go for that? The Board should wait,” a source said.
“Believe me some players, both Pakistan top players and a few foreign players, are also apprehensive and say that the PSL remaining part should be postponed,” the source said.
A couple of days ago there were reports that the franchises have approached the PCB asking it to shift the matches to the UAE.
But a franchise senior source said if the matches were shifted to the UAE and if there were Covid cases then it would have to be postponed again. “And if you postpone it in the UAE it will mean a huge financial loss for the franchises. You know Dubai is very expensive,” the source said.
“A very senior Pakistan player told me today that it is not good to go for the PSL matches in June as per the PCB’s plans. He told me there is a high risk,” the source said.
A PCB source he said he does not think so that there is any such plan of shifting the event to the UAE.
“I don’t think so. If you are to shift, it needs time to settle the things there. The PCB is eager to hold it in Karachi,” the source said.
A meeting between the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) and the PCB is expected to be held after Eid-ul-Fitr in which the fate of the remaining matches will be decided.
The PCB had to postpone the event in the first week of March when some foreign players and support staff personnel tested positive for Covid-19.
The Board also had to conduct the 2020 edition in two phases because of Covid.
India also had to postpone the IPL at halfway stage the other day because of spread of Covid-19.