PSL 2021: PCB and franchise officials concerned over overseas players' availability for remaining matches

PSL 2021 commenced on February 20 but PCB was forced to postpone the tournament after hosting just 14 games due to a breach in the bio bubble.

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PSL Trophy
PSL Trophy. (Photo Source; Twitter)

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is planning to schedule the remainder of the matches of the 2021 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) from June 1 to June 20 at the National Stadium in Karachi. The players have been asked to assemble at their respective hotels on May 22 as they will have to undergo a mandatory seven-day quarantine period. 

The quarantine will be followed by a three-day training session for all the players. PSL 2021 commenced on February 20 but the PCB was forced to postpone the tournament after hosting just 14 games due to a potential breach in the bio bubble and the increasing number of coronavirus cases among the players and support staff. 

However, there is a roadblock ahead of PSL 2021 as it is learned that there is uncertainty over the availability of many overseas players. Many foreign players can give the Pakistan league a miss as it is either coinciding with their international duties or other domestic leagues across the globe.

Most of the players participating in the PSL are also plying their trade in the Indian Premier League (IPL), which will conclude on May 30, 2021. Thus many players might miss the PSL 2021 either due to fatigue or because they will be forced to chose one between IPL and PSL, if their franchise reaches the Playoffs.

Foreigners are hesitant to travel to Pakistan 

Besides, there are a number of international tours scheduled in the month of June. The England cricket team will be playing a two-match Test series against New Zealand from June 2 to 14, while Ireland will be hosting the Netherlands from June 2 to 7. ECB has also planned to host their domestic T20 tournament, Vitality T20 Blast, from June 9 to September 9.

Sri Lanka is scheduled to tour England in June for a three-match T20I series while Bangladesh and Australia will play a series against Zimbabwe and West Indies, respectively. Also, New Zealand and India will lock horns against each other in the final of the World Test Championship in England from June 18 to 22.

Meanwhile, it is learned that the overseas players are also hesitant to travel to Pakistan due to the rise in Covid-19 cases in the country, and the failure of the bio bubble the previous time. Thus, with the uncertainty looming over the availability of foreign players, PSL has decided to hold the players’ draft next month to replace the players, who will be unavailable due to international commitments.

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