‘PCB had been advised to postpone PSL at once’

KARACHI: Owners of Lahore Qalandars and Quetta Gladiators had told the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) at mid-night on Wednesday that the HBL PSL 2021 should be immediately postponed, it has been reliably learnt.

Sources told ‘The News’ that after three more cases were reported at mid-night on Wednesday the owners of these two franchises advised the PCB top brass not to put the life of the players at risk and immediately postpone the event.

Sources said that on Thursday morning Karachi Kings owner also advised the PCB to postpone the event.

Sources said that huge SOPs breaches had been seen during the past few days.

Sources said that PCB did not suffer because of the development and franchises had to face financial losses.

“If we look at financial aspects only the luggage cost of a team is Rs10 milion. And when these players re-assemble again to complete the event equipment of Rs10 million will have to be purchased,” a source said.

“The players get 70 percent of their payment in advance and the remaining 30 percent is given to them after the completion of the event. Besides this franchises also bear their air-fare expenses. In case the event is resumed air-fare cost will double,” the source said.

Sources said it would have been better had the PCB followed the Sri Lanka model of bio-secure bubble.

It was learnt that the PCB had been advised to follow that model as no COVID case emerged during the Lanka Premier League (LPL).

Sources said that the Board had been advised ahead of the PSL to book a complete hotel for the teams and officials. Had that been done, such a huge set-back could have been avoided, a source said.

It was learnt that in the LPL even journalists had been kept in the biosecure bubble.

Reacting to the PCB’s views that it conducted domestic events successfully, a franchise source said that in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy too several COVID cases had emerged. However, those were not taken seriously and were not highlighted.

Meanwhile, most of the franchises released their local players and foreign players were set to fly back late Thursday night.

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