PCB approach Emirates Cricket Board to stage remainder of 2021 PSL season in UAE

The Pakistan Super League campaign was suspended at the start of March after the coronavirus breached the bio-secure bubble around the teams

The UAE will host the remainder of the Pakistan Super League. AFP
The UAE will host the remainder of the Pakistan Super League. AFP

The Pakistan Cricket Board have agreed to a request by the six Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchises, and approached the Emirates Cricket Board about staging the remainder of the season in the UAE.

The 2021 PSL campaign was suspended at the start of March after the coronavirus breached the bio-secure bubble around the teams.

The outstanding matches were rescheduled for June, with a view to holding them in Karachi.

However, the upswing in reported Covid cases in the country led the franchises to suggest to the organisers to consider moving the matches.

The PCB would prefer to stage matches in their homeland, not least because of the efforts that have been made to return major cricket to the country in recent years.

However, at a special meeting on Friday they have acquiesced to the idea of the franchises, according to reports from Pakistan.

Last week, a number of franchise officials suggested the UAE would be the best option, given the success of biosecuring both the 2020 IPL and the Abu Dhabi T10.

“There was a view we should do it in UAE, simply because things in UAE are, to an extent, more manageable,” Sameen Rana, the chief operating officer of Lahore Qalandars, told The National on Tuesday.

Salman Iqbal, the owner of Karachi Kings, said the previous success of staging cricket in the UAE during the pandemic is a driving force behind the move to relocate.

“The health and safety of everyone is of utmost importance, and that should not be compromised in any circumstances,” Iqbal said.

“Our stance is, if we are not able to secure the bio-bubble, as happened [in March], we should have it in Dubai. It is not about the location, it is about the bio-bubble conditions.”

After the success of the 2020 IPL season in the UAE, the PSL could be the next major competition to relocate to the country because of the pandemic.

It could be followed later in the year by the most significant global competition yet staged in cricket in the Emirates.

The ICC contacted the grounds in Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi a month ago to firm up their plans for the T20 World Cup in October and November, should India be unable to go ahead with hosting the event.

Published: May 7, 2021 04:37 PM

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