UAE emerges as first choice for PSL-6 remaining matches

By our correspondent

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the six franchise owners met today via a zoom call to discuss the remaining 20 matches of the HBL Pakistan Super League 6.

According to the PCB the group had a 360-degree discussion, which also considered feedback from the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). (The UAE has emerged as a preferred venue for the remaining 20 matches,” the Board said. “As the holiday period has already started in both the countries and the Pakistan men’s national cricket team has to depart for the United Kingdom on 23 June, the PCB will use this time to work with the Emirates Cricket Board to check if the event can be successfully delivered within the available time,” the Board said.

During the holiday period, the PCB will work on a revised tournament schedule, while it will liaise with the ECB in relation to finalising playing and training facilities, hotel bookings, ground transportation and visitors’ visas,” it added.

“The PCB will carry out a detailed financial and risk assessment as well as cost analysis before reporting back to the franchises, who will then review before a decision on the event venue is confirmed,” the Board said.

“We had an interactive and productive meeting in which we considered a number of factors. While the UAE has emerged as a preferred venue, a number of challenges remain, which will be worked through over the coming days. We remain committed to doing everything possible to complete the HBL PSL 6,” the PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said.

The PCB had decided to hold the remaining matches from June 1-20 here at the National Stadium and now it seems that the Board will have to shift it to the UAE and it will also force the organisers to reschedule the matches. Some franchises on Thursday had also shown reservations over the PCB step to hold the remaining 20 matches in Karachi at a time when Covid-19 spike is so severe that it has forced the government to impose countrywide lockdown. Some franchises sources had said that the PCB should wait till the Covid-19 issue loses its sting.

The PCB had to postpone the event in the first week of March after a handful of foreign players and support staff personnel were tested positive for Covid-19.

Meanwhile the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) have also confirmed that PCB have approached them.