PSL 2021 unlikely to resume in the UAE because of COVID-19 travel restrictions
Recently, the PCB was in talks with the Emirates Cricket Board regarding hosting the remaining 20 matches in the UAE from June 1.
Updated - May 11, 2021 8:45 am
The 2021 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is unlikely to restart in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in June. The development came to the fore after the UAE government announced a ban on travellers from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The travel ban will be in place from Wednesday, May 12.
The PSL started in the third week of February but had to be postponed after a series of coronavirus cases emerged in the franchises. Recently, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was in talks with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) regarding hosting the remaining 20 matches in the UAE from June 1.
“The PCB was expecting things to be finalised in next 24 hours due to the Eid holidays in both countries but now with this ban imposed by the UAE government till May 12, the only option available to the PCB is to hold the matches in Karachi,” a source said on Monday.
Sri Lanka thought of as an option for PSL 2021
The source said that the Pakistan board was wary of hosting the games anywhere in Pakistan bearing in mind the scenario last time. A board official stated that the National Command and Operations Authority, which regulates the COVID-19 situation in Pakistan, advised the board against holding PSL games in Karachi.
“There is one more suggestion to have it in Sri Lanka if not in UAE, but that will require a lot of logistical and other issues and will also be dependent on clearance from the government,” another source mentioned.
Earlier, Javed Miandad, the former Pakistan cricketer, asked the PCB to not hold the remainder of the PSL in the grave global scenario. The veteran urged the board to keep cricket in the backseat and focus on the safety of the players and other officials.
“I think this is not the right time to be playing cricket when all the focus is on saving lives from this dreaded virus. This is not the time to play cricket, it is the time to save lives. In these times of crisis, we should be more focused on saving lives rather than playing cricket,” Miandad told.