LAHORE: The Covid-19 testing of the players and officials of six Pakistan Super League teams for the remaining 20 matches will begin from Saturday before two chartered flights will take them to Abu Dhabi on May 26 from Karachi and Lahore.
The new schedule of the remaining PSL matches, to be held in Abu Dhabi from the first week of June, will be announced once the Indian and South African broadcasting crews will be issued visas by the UAE authorities. The PCB has applied for their visas but since Friday is a weekly holiday in the UAE, the visas may now be issued by Sunday.
According to the information gathered by Dawn, after clearing the first Covid-19 test on Saturday the players and officials will be shifted to their respective hotels in Lahore and Karachi on Monday. Two more tests of each member of the teams will be conducted before they will get clearance to depart for Abu Dhabi on May 26.
It may be mentioned here that the busy schedules of international players could take away some excitement from the remaining PSL 6 matches. The Sri Lankan cricketers have reached Bangladesh for a One-day series while New Zealand squad is in England for a Test series. The English County Cricket season has also kicked off while South Africa is visiting the West Indies these days.
However, the PSL franchises are busy picking up the replacements of these missing players.
Moreover, the broadcasters have shown some concern over the late televising of the second match on some days (PST 10.00 p.m) as they believe it may hit the viewership. The franchises and the broadcasters are also in discussion to revise the timings of the matches.
Earlier, the PCB had the plan to start the matches from June 1 to finish it on June 17. But due to a delay caused in getting some assurance from the UAE government, the fresh schedule now is most likely to start from June 5 to 20 with two matches to be held on six days.
Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2021