(Photo credit: @thePSLt20 Twitter)
KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has opened talks with the Emirates Cricket Board to hold the remaining matches of the Pakistan Super League 6 in the UAE, next month.
PSL was postponed on March 4 in Karachi after an outbreak of positive cases among the franchises.
A PCB official confirmed that talks had been initiated with the ECB to hold the remaining matches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
“Things are being worked out but importantly the ECB has expressed its confidence that it can host the PSL matches even at a short notice,” he said.
The official said that the PCB wanted to hold the remaining matches from June 1 in Karachi but the National Command and Operations Centre which oversees all Covid-19 related issues believed there could be a spike in positive cases in June after the Eid Holidays.
The NCCC apparently has advised the PCB to look for other options to host the PSL.
The PCB official said that the only issue in hosting matches in UAE was that it could send out a wrong message to overseas players and boards about playing in Pakistan.
“It is with great difficulty and work that International cricket has returned to Pakistan so we have to look at this angle also since we have two or three top teams like England and New Zealand due to tour Pakistan later this year,” he said.
The official said the PCB would also work out all cost effective details with the ECB since it would now have to pay ground charges, increased hotel rates and transportation costs as well.
“Once we get the cost details about having the event in UAE we will talk to the franchises and decide what to do. One thing is clear: the PSL 6 remaining games can only be held in June because there is now other window available this year,” he added.
Meanwhile the former chairman of the board, Najam Sethi who launched the PSL in 2016, believes foreign players might not be keen to play in Pakistan because of the Covid-19 situation.
“The permission from the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to hold the PSL matches as per the previous schedule [June 1-17] should not be a major issue for the PCB.
“But I think foreign players are not ready to visit Pakistan, which has been included in the red list of several countries in the backdrop of a global Covid-19 crisis,” Sethi told Dawn newspaper.
The PCB and all the six PSL franchises on Friday held a virtual meeting and preferred Dubai as the new venue but Sethi felt the PCB had made a terrible mistake by stopping the league midway in Karachi on March 4.
“The remaining 20 matches could have been held with a solid bio-secure bubble without spectators,” he said.