PSL organisers in a race against time to get Abu Dhabi leg under way

Board hope to restart competition on June 7, delay national team players' departure for UK tour

Pakistan Super League organisers remain hopeful the tournament can be played to a conclusion in Abu Dhabi this month, even though a number of logistical issues still need to be solved.

The Pakistan Cricket Board met with owners of the six franchises online on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of restarting the competition on June 7.

The PCB have put back the departure of the national team players for their tour of the UK to June 25, rather than June 23, in a bid to complete the PSL season.

The final of the tournament is now earmarked for Thursday, June 24, rather than June 20 as planned.

However, the restart date appears to be dependent on the availability of 16 production company crew, who are in isolation in Dubai.

According to the organisers, the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority will “decide on Wednesday afternoon if they will grant exemptions to 16 production crew to work in Abu Dhabi from June 5 to make a June 7 start possible”.

The seven-day isolation for those who arrived on charter flights from Karachi and Lahore – which constitutes the majority of tournament personnel – ends on Wednesday afternoon.

Sarfaraz Ahmed, meanwhile, is among six players whose arrival in the UAE was initially delayed, but has now made it to the capital.

Twenty matches are still to be played, after the competition was suspended at the start of March due to a number of positive Covid cases within the teams.

The remaining fixtures were rescheduled for June, and relocated to the UAE capital because of the Covid situation back in Pakistan.

Despite the challenges, the teams remain focused on pressing ahead with preparations for the restart.

Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars will be the first sides to train at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, on Wednesday evening.

There has also been a personnel change for Multan Sultans, with Blessing Muzarabani, the fast bowler who excelled in international matches for Zimbabwe against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi earlier this year, replacing Obed McCoy of West Indies.

At the point the tournament paused back in March, four teams were tied on six points at the top of the table.

Karachi Kings lead the standings on net run rate, ahead of Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad and Lahore.

Updated: June 2, 2021 08:41 PM

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