PSL: Karachi Kings owner Salman Iqbal says team players and officials have tested negative for coronavirus

England batsman Alex Hales in self-isolation in Nottingham after he developed fever upon return from tournament

Karachi Kings Umaid Asif (C) celebrates the wicket of Rizwan Hussain during the T20 cricket match between Karachi Kings and Islamabad United at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on March 14, 2020.  / AFP / Asif HASSAN
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Salman Iqbal, the owner of Karachi Kings, says all tests for coronavirus among players and officials of the franchise have come back negative.

The Pakistan Super League was suspended on Tuesday after Alex Hales had reported symptoms of the condition.

The English batsman developed a fever and cough after returning to the UK at the weekend. He had been playing for Karachi Kings in the PSL.

After the decision to postpone the tournament, which had reached its semi-final stage, had been taken, all players and officials associated with the event were due to be tested for the condition.

Iqbal said everyone involved with his franchise had been cleared after test results came back on Wednesday afternoon.

“We have all been tested, the team and the Karachi Kings management, and all results have come back negative,” Iqbal said.

“Everybody who was near Alex is negative. I spoke to Alex the day before yesterday, late at night, and he said he has symptoms.

“We told the [Pakistan Cricket Board]. They cancelled the league, and we had tests done.”

Iqbal said he has remained in contact with Hales, and has privately tried to arrange for a doctor to visit him at his home in Nottingham, in the English Midlands.


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“He is following the [UK government] advice to quarantine himself for seven days,” Iqbal said.

“We have tried our level best to get a test privately done, but we could only get that done in London, and he is in Nottingham.

"He can’t leave his house. He has been told that he has to wait it out for seven days.

"I have spoken to him. He has a bad cough and high temperature, but he does not have other symptoms such as shortness of breath.”

As of early Wednesday afternoon there were 254 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Pakistan, according to reports.

The majority – 181 – have been recorded in Sindh, the province of which Karachi is the capital.

In explaining the decision to postpone the PSL on Tuesday, Wasim Khan, PCB chief executive, said he hoped it would help raise awareness of the severity of the situation for the public.

“People are losing lives, and people’s safety is paramount,” Khan said.

“We took a number of measures as the PCB, throughout this.

"That included thermal guns to check temperatures of players and officials.

“We took the decision to reduce the number of days, reduce the number of matches, and also give the option to the overseas players and other players to leave and take no further part, should they wish to do so.

“It was our obligation to do that. We have listened to the government. We are here to support, and raise the awareness.

“The franchises are fully supportive in terms of what we are trying to do.

“We have an obligation to ensure the safety of fans, supporters, and to raise the awareness of the pandemic that is spreading across the world.”

The intention is to reschedule the final three remaining matches in the PSL.

Table-topping Multan Sultans were set to play a semi-final against Peshawar Zalmi, while Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars were pitted together in the other game.

Iqbal said it is feasible the matches could be rescheduled later this year, with the week following the T20 World Cup in Australia in November currently seen as the most viable option.

“We are planning to do a seven-day event for the semi-finals and the final,” Iqbal said.

“The four teams, who are part of the board of PSL, are talking to the PCB about it.

"We think there is a window of seven to eight days after the World Cup in Australia that might be possible.”