PSL-6: Five players, officials reach Abu Dhabi, 12 others set to leave for UAE tonight; Sarfaraz not given clearance

By our correspondent

KARACHI: After denying clearance to 11 persons including Quetta Gladiators captain Sarfaraz Ahmed on Sunday morning to board the plane for Abu Dhabi, 12 people from Lahore were set to fly out for Abu Dhabi Sunday night to feature in the PSL-6 remaining matches.

A source said that ten people from Lahore’s hotel were set to go to the Allama Iqbal Airport where they were scheduled to leave for Abu Dhabi Sunday night via Gulf Air which will take a stop over at Bahrain before moving to the UAE.

Earlier these ten people, staying at the Lahore’s hotel, had to fly via Qatar Airways at 4am on Sunday but were denied clearance and were sent back to hotel.

From Karachi six players and officials, also including Sarfaraz, were set to depart from Jinnah International Airport via Qatar Airways at 4am Sunday but Sarfaraz was denied clearance. He had to go back to hotel and was not happy. The remaining five players and officials, also including Mohammad Hasnain, departed for Abu Dhabi on Sunday morning via Qatar Airways.

The Abu Dhabi Sports Council had managed special permission for the PCB for the transportation of these 16 people who got UAE visas. A well-connected source told The News that Sarfaraz was expected to fly out from here for Abu Dhabi via Gulf Air Sunday night.

However a PCB source said effort is being made to send Sarfaraz but said it is not yet confirmed when he will fly. As many as seven players and officials, staying at Karachi hotel, have not yet been issued visas. The PCB, earlier, had decided to transport the remaining 25 people from Karachi and Lahore via chartered flight. However, when only 16 people were given UAE visas the PCB opted to send them through commercial flights.

The initial batch, carrying 202 players and officials, have already been transported to Abu Dhabi through chartered flights from Karachi and Lahore the other day and are in quarantine in an Abu Dhabi hotel.

Similarly late Saturday night the players and officials traveling from South Africa including Herschelle Gibbs, Faf du Pless, David Miller, Rilee Roussuw, Cameron Delport and Pakistan’s all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz have reached Abu Dhabi.

The West Indies Johnson Charles and Peshawar Zalmi’s head coach Darren Sammy have also reached Abu Dhabi enrout United States. On reaching Abu Dhabi Sammy issued a statement, confirming his arrival in the UAE.

“Although it was a long journey but somehow we made it. Now we are waiting for the PSL to start,” said Sammy, also the most successful former T20 skipper of the West Indies. The people in the broadcast crew have already departed for UAE from South Africa. As many as eight broadcasters belonging to India have already arrived in the UAE.

Peshawar Zalmi’s Sherfane Rutherford, Fidel Edwards, Rovman Powell and Afghanistan’s Waqar Salamkhel have also reached Abu Dhabi.