PSL 6 deferred due to Coronavirus
Due to concerns over COVID-19, all remaining fixtures in this year’s Pakistan Super League (PSL 6) competition will be postponed.
The Pakistan Cricket Board’s decision comes after three new cricketers from two different teams tested positive for the virus. Altogether, seven PSL franchise players have contracted COVID-19 since the 7th of February.
To begin with immediate effect, the PCB’s decision means that today’s scheduled match between Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United will now not go ahead.
PCB CEO Wasim Khan’s press conference
“The health and wellbeing of all the players comes first and foremost.” These were the words of PCB CEO Wasim Khan during the press conference in Karachi announcing the postponement.
“Once the players start to become affected then it becomes an issue,” said Wasim Khan. “And that for us became a prime concern, and was a huge concern for the franchises. Hence we made the decision to postpone the event. We will be looking at other windows. And we hope to play the event at a later time.”
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The table and statistics
There are four teams sitting on six points – the Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad United and the Lahore Qalandars. Both the Multan Sultans and the Quetta Gladiators have struggled, only amassing two points.
There are three players who have amassed 200 runs or more – Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. The top 3 bowlers are Saqib Mahmood, Shaheen Afridi and Shahnawaz Dhani, who have 12, 9 and 9 wickets respectively.
Will the PCB be able to find a window later this year?
The COVID-19 pandemic also disrupted last year’s PSL competition. In late March 2020, all PSL-5 matches were postponed. However, this occurred while the competition was in its playoff stage.
With only four matches left to play, PSL 5 managed to resume in November 2020.
The Pakistan Super League 6, though, still requires matches to be played in its league stage and playoff stage, which is why being postponed is a big issue. All six teams still have scheduled fixtures.
Considering 2021’s congested cricket calendar, finding a suitable window to reconvene players will be a difficult task for the PCB. Pakistan will travel to South Africa to play 3 ODI’s and 4 T20I’s between April the 2nd and April the 16th.
A number of the players then head off the Indian Premier League – the likes of Faf Du Plessis and Imran Tahir will no longer be available for selection until June at the very earliest.
Pakistan then travels to England between the 8th of July to the 20th of July. This means that if the league is not rescheduled in April then it will likely have to be in June, or wait until the end of the year again.
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