A Lahore Qalandars spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo that there were breaches of the bubble at the team hotels
The blame game has begun as PSL franchises and management begin to sift through the wreckage of a sixth season that was curtailed 14 games in, after a spate of Covid-19 cases among players and support staff. An investigation into what went wrong will take place, at an as-yet unspecified time in the future, and conducted independent of the PCB. And though Wasim Khan, the PCB’s CEO, began a press conference by saying “this isn’t about a blame game”, the message by its end – when he spoke of “self-policing” and players needing “to take responsibility” – had shifted.
That shift is likely to have been prompted by the reaction of at least a couple of franchises; a Lahore Qalandars spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo there had been clear breaches of the bubble at the hotel, and that the hotel had staged weddings – away from the bubble but on the premises – over the course of the tournament.
“This isn’t about a blame game, about who’s to blame,” Khan said. “This is a collective effort that we all had a responsibility to actually police and self-police that environment. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do it effectively enough. Hence we find ourselves in this situation today.
“We had a discussion this morning with the franchise owners and we came to the conclusion that it was best to postpone the event. We entered that meeting with the franchisees with one or two possible solutions, one in terms of looking to halt proceedings for five days until we were able to make sense of what was going on and see whether we could move forward. There was a strong consensus that it was untenable to continue based on the fact that it was outside of ours and others reasonable sort of areas because of what had taken place.”
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Osman Samiuddin is a senior editor at ESPNcricinfo. Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent