Dubai: The Pakistan Super League was cancelled hours before the semi-finals on Tuesday after one of the foreign players had developed symptoms of Coronavirus. The PSL had been one of the few sporting events which was under way till the sudden cancellation.
The Pakistan Cricket Board is yet to reveal the player’s name who has apparently flown out of Pakistan. However as a precautionary measure, all players and broadcasters are now being tested for the virus.
The two semi-final matches of PSL were to commence from 2pm (Pakistan time) when the Pakistan Cricket Board announced the decision.
The stage was set for the first semi-final was to be played between Multan Sultans and Peshawar Zalmi and second match between Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars. The PCB also announced that the Wednesday final has also been called off.
It is understood that the government also advised PCB to call it off in the light of increasing number of positive cases of Coronavirus in the country.
The PSL officials had already cut short the number of days of the tournament by doing away with the play offs. The PSL final was scheduled to be held on March 22 and the final was to be held on March 18 from 5pm (Pakistan time).
Many foreign players had left the PSL amid Coronavirus fears a few days ago. Those who stayed back to play in the remaining matches will now face 14-days isolation on arrival in their country. Chris Lynn, who had cracked an unbeaten century off 52 balls to steer Lahore to the semifinal will have to undergo self-isolation in Australia as per their government’s directives.
England’s Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Tymal Mills, Liam Dawson, Liam Livingstone, Lewis Gregory and James Vince, West Indian Carlos Braithwaite, South African Rilee Roussouw and James Foster (coach) had also earlier returned to their countries.
On Monday, the PCB called off the scheduled Pakistan-Bangladesh series which was to commence in Pakistan from March 29.
The PCB announced calling off of the PSL semi-final after informing the four the franchise owners. It seems PCB is hopeful that the semifinal and final will be held at the earliest and that the 2020 edition will have a winner. All efforts to fly out the foreign players are now on especially in the light of many flights being cancelled.
New Zealand pacer Mitchell McClenaghan, who was among several foreign players who left the PSL posted a picture of himself self isolating. “Straight home into isolation, get home to this note from my legendary wife who’s gone to stay with her parents for a few weeks. See you guys in 14 days,” he tweeted.
Australian captain Aaron Finch and opener David Warner have expressed their worries over the effectiveness of the self-isolation policy of the government to tackle the spread of Coronavirus wondering who would monitor whether they are following the policy.