The Emirates Cricket Board has reportedly given the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) permission to hold the remaining matches of the Pakistan Super League in Abu Dhabi, UAE. However, the nod from UAE has been given on the condition that all the participants be vaccinated against Covid-19. PSL 2021 was suspended in March after numerous players and staff were tested positive across franchises.
The development, that took place on Wednesday, will now lead the PCB to hold a meeting with the six Pakistan Super League franchises to further decide whether the plans will finally be executed or not. Although the issue of venue has been resolved, there still lies the challenge of all the participants including the players, match officials as well as broadcast and production staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The challenge faced by the board isn’t an easy one, since the associates of the tournament hail from all around the world where the vaccination campaigns are at different stages in various countries. On top of this development, there is also the problem of flight restrictions imposed by the UAE government on certain countries where the impact of the pandemic is grave.
As for some fans that are excited by the news and hopeful to watch the remaining matches of the tournament, the decision has also received criticism. Upon witnessing the latest developments regarding PSL 2021, former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad said, “In these times of crisis, we should be more focused on saving lives rather than playing cricket. The whole world has been affected by the coronavirus.”
The competition was earlier scheduled to resume on June 1. Since there is so much uncertainty due to the pandemic, PSL 2021 is unlikely to start on the proposed date as the players will be required to undergo quarantine apart from getting vaccinated. The meeting with the franchises will decide the final verdict for the continuation of PSL 2021.