Naseem Shah
Naseem Shah Image Credit: AFP

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has barred fast bowler Naseem Shah from playing in the remaining matches of Pakistan Super League in Abu Dhabi for breach of COVID-19 protocols before departure from the country.

The Board has released Shah of Quetta Gladiators from isolation in Lahore after arrived at the designated hotel with a non-compliant RT-PCR test result.

'As such, the fast bowler will not be travelling to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on 26 May and is now out of the competition,' the PCB said in a statement.

The 19-year-old Shah has appeared in nine Tests.

The PCB had asked all the players travelling in chartered flights from Karachi and Lahore to assemble at the team hotels on May 24 with negative reports of RT-PCR tests taken not more than 48 hours prior to their arrival.

'Naseem presented a PCR report from a test conducted on 18 May. Upon submission of the report, he was placed into isolation on a separate floor before being released following a decision made by a three-member panel on the recommendation of the independent Medical Advisory Panel for PSL,' the PCB said.

Director (Commercial) and head of HBL PSL, Babar Hamid, said Quetta Gladiators have accepted PCB's decision to bar Shah.

'If we ignore this breach, then we will potentially put at risk the entire event. We appreciate Quetta Gladiators for accepting this decision as it confirms we are all aligned to strictly following and implementing the protocols.

'This decision will also send out a loud and clear message to all involved that the PCB will not compromise on any violations and will expel the player or support personnel irrespective of his stature and standing if they are found to be flouting the prescribed protocols or regulations,' he said.

Hamid said that participating players and support staff must understand that these protocols have been put in place for the health and safety of all involved as well for the integrity and credibility of the event and the PCB.

The PCB plans to resume the PSL-6 in Abu Dhabi on June 5 but is yet to announce the schedule.

The tournament, which is being shifted out of Pakistan, was postponed in March with 20 games to go when several players and support staff among the six franchises tested positive for COVID-19.