The sixth season of the Pakistan Super League turned out nothing short of becoming a fiasco. With matches to be initially scheduled for February to March, COVID-19 had other plans.
On the 4th of March 2021, PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) had to take decisive action to suspend the tournament after multiple cases of coronavirus were reported. Due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in Pakistan, PCB had no choice but to reschedule the remaining fixtures for June 2021.
According to a recent study by the Pakistan Gulf Economist, PSL is considered the flagship event for PCB and ends up earning around Rs 2.5 billion annually.
With the tickets alone generating millions of rupees for the government, PSL indefinitely helps in boosting the country’s weak economy, aided by nourishing sports tourism in Pakistan. From hotels, restaurants to airline advertisements, thousands of cricket fans await the event donning their favorite team’s caps, shirts, and other accessories.
In light of this information, let’s take a quick look at some of the latest PSL news that might pique your interest further in this fantastic event.
PCB postponed all remaining fixtures from the 4th of March 2021. So far, ten matches have been conducted, which all took place at Karachi’s National Stadium. The PCB only recently got the green light from UAE to conduct the remaining 20 fixtures in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi. The following is the list of the remaining matches of PSL that will conclude this year’s season:
- June 1, Tuesday: Lahore Qalandars v Islamabad United (8 pm)
- June 2, Wednesday: Multan Sultans v Karachi Kings (8 pm)
- June 3, Thursday: Islamabad United v Quetta Gladiators (8 pm)
- June 4, Friday: Peshawar Zalmi v Lahore Qalandars (8 pm)
- June 5, Saturday: Islamabad United v Karachi Kings (5 pm); Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators (10 pm)
- Jun 6, Sunday: Peshawar Zalmi v Karachi Kings (8 pm)
- June 7, Monday: Quetta Gladiators v Lahore Qalandars (8 pm)
- June 8, Tuesday: Multan Sultans v Peshawar Zalmi (8 pm)
- June 9, Wednesday: Islamabad United v Lahore Qalandars (8 pm)
- June 10, Thursday: Quetta Gladiators v Karachi Kings (8 pm)
- June 11, Friday: Multan Sultans v Islamabad United (8 pm)
- June 12, Saturday: Quetta Gladiators v Peshawar Zalmi (5 pm); Karachi Kings v Lahore Qalandars (10 pm)
- June 13, Sunday: Islamabad United v Peshawar Zalmi (8 pm)
- June 14, Monday: Multan Sultans v Lahore Qalandars (8 pm)
- June 16, Wednesday: Qualifier (1 v 2) (8 pm)
- June 17, Thursday: Eliminator 1 (3 v 4) (8 pm)
- June 18, Friday: Eliminator 2 (loser Qualifier v winner Eliminator 1) (8 pm)
- June 20, Sunday: Final (8 pm)
It is obvious that COVID-19 poses a serious threat to international players’ health and overall wellbeing. Hence, it is understandable that these prized national assets are given their due support to play in front of audiences during these turbulent times. The redrafting details for the six teams playing in the PSL are as follows:
- For Islamabad United: Alex Hales (English batsman) and Lewis Gregory (English all-rounder) will be replaced by Usman Khawaja (Australian batsman) and Janneman Malan (South African batsman).
- For Lahore Qalandars: Rashid Kahn (Afghan bowler), Joe Denly (English batsman), David Wiese (South African all-rounder), Tom Abell (English all-rounder), and Samit Patel (English all-rounder) will be replaced by Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladeshi all-rounder), James Faulkner (Australian all-rounder), Joe Burns (Australian batsman), Callum Ferguson (Australian batsman), and Seekkuge Prasanna (Sri Lankan all-rounder).
- For Peshawar Zalmi: Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghan bowler), Liam Livingstone (English all-rounder), and Saqib Mahmood (English bowler) will be replaced by Fabian Allen (West Indian batsman), Rovman Powell (West Indian all-rounder), and Fidel Edwards (West Indian bowler).
- For Karachi Kings: Colin Ingram (South African batsman), Mohammad Nabi (Afghan all-rounder), Dan Christian (Australian all-rounder), and Joe Clarke (English wicket-keeper) will be replaced by Martin Guptill (New Zealand batsman), Najibullah Zadran (Afghan batsman), Thisara Perera (Sri Lankan all-rounder), and Liton Das (Bangladeshi wicket-keeper).
- For Multan Sultans: Chris Lynn (Australian batsman), James Vince (English batsman), Adam Lyth (English batsman), and Carlos Brathwaite (West Indian all-rounder) will be replaced by Mahmudullah (Bangladeshi all-rounder), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Afghan wicket-keeper), George Linde (South African all-rounder), and Obed McCoy (West Indian bowler).
- For Quetta Gladiators: Tom Banton (English wicket-keeper) will be replaced by Andre Russell (West Indian all-rounder).
Note for Audiences
With all players undergoing coronavirus test on May 18, the authorities at UAE are quite strict when it comes to COVID-19. This is indeed the right way to handle and manage such a disturbing virus that has caused havoc all around the world.
So it’s best that those willing to visit the stadium to watch the matches live should conduct themselves accordingly and always keep SOPs in their minds. With only 14 matches being played, Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi lead the points table with six points. While Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars also have 6 points each, however, they have played only four matches.
While it was originally planned to have matches played only in Lahore and Karachi, however with the news of the remaining fixtures to be held in UAE, the venue selection has differed. It is most likely that if matches are played in Abu Dhabi, then the popular choice would be the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium with around 20,000 audience members.
The next choice would be the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium with a capacity to support 25,000 people as audience members. Even the Sharjah Cricket Stadium can serve as a selected venue for its capacity to hold 27,000 audience members.
Safety & Health Measures
According to sources by ESPN Cricinfo, this year’s PSL season and the COVID-19 outbreak among a number of players had PCB feeling the pinch. As of the latest developments, PCB has announced that it will be outsourcing the management of its bio-security protocols to an international firm when the PSL resumes in June.
Alongside, the Board of Governors overseeing health and security measures have included robust and stringent implementation of protocols pertaining to COVID-19 SOPs.
Since the matches will be conducted on the United Arab Emirates’ soil, the authorities at UAE have made it mandatory for all players and official to undergo 10-day quarantine before play is resumed later this year. Pupils who seek an expert essay writing service are strongly advised always to consider their safety and overall wellbeing against participating in public events while the pandemic still rages on across the planet.
T20 World Cup Impact
The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup was originally planned to be held in Australia from 18th October to 15th November 202. However, the ICC (International Cricket Council) postponed it to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In August 2020, it was confirmed that India would be hosting the 2021 tournament.
However, with the dire situation in India due to the coronavirus emergence and devastation, things are in the doldrums. India is going through one of the worst-case scenarios due to COVID-19’s alarming spread and contamination in recent times. Right now, we can all hope, wish, and pray for the people and government of India to stay strong and work together to curb the pandemic.
The Future of PSL
Once this season of PSL goes underway and is finally conducted as planned, the PCB would definitely pursue to hold the future iterations soon. The PCB would love to have PSL gain prominence around the globe and make it one of the most exciting and the world’s leading T20 League. However, there is still a long way to go. Currently, IPL is without a doubt the leading T20 League in the cricketing world, followed by:
- The KFC Big Bash League in Australia
- T20 Blast – Vitality Blast in England
- Caribbean Premier League in West Indies
Pakistan Super League is indeed a happening event for the majority of cricketing fans across the world and is tremendously popular amongst Pakistanis all around the nation. It is a sensational sporting phenomenon where people from provinces come together to celebrate their love for sports.
From media celebrities to music artists as well as public figures have all shown their support and love for the game across various platforms and channels. I hope this year’s event goes as planned and no further pitfalls are encountered this season. All the best to PSL players and the fans rooting for them, may the best team win!