The National Stadium in Karachi and the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore will host the month-long competition that starts on Thursday with a clash between Karachi Kings and defending champions Multan Sultans.
With a number of overseas cricketers set to feature in the tournament, the health and safety of the players and all stakeholders is top priority for the Pakistan Cricket Board, who have promised “robust” protocols.
“In the present-day environment, all international sport events are going ahead because there is more awareness and information about the pandemic,” PCB chairman Ramiz Raja told the Associated Press.
Last year, the league was postponed in March after several players tested positive for coronavirus and the league was shifted to Abu Dhabi in June.
“The PCB, despite delivering 267 matches in 10 domestic events in 2021, is not taking anything for granted,” Raja said. “We have designed and put in place robust health and safety protocols for the well-being of all [PSL] participants.”
A multi-layer bio-secure bubble and contingency plans for player unavailability in the event of an outbreak have been put in place. If a breach is reported in the bio bubble, the Pakistan board plans to halt the league for a week and restart after resetting the bio-bubble from scratch.
However, concerns remain. At least three players, including Peshawar Zalmi’s wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, and five support staff members tested positive last Saturday when the teams began to assemble in Karachi.