The Pakistan Super League was postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan. (Photo Credit: Lahore Qalandars FB)
The coronavirus pandemic had decimated the cricketing calendar, suspending the India vs South Africa series, Australia vs New Zealand as well as the England vs Sri Lanka Test series. The coronavirus pandemic also forced the Indian Premier League to be postponed to April 15 while Sheffield Shield Games and the Plunkett Shield were cancelled. Bangladesh’s series against Ireland as well as the England County season have been postponed. During the coronavirus pandemic, only the Pakistan Super League T20 tournament was played among all mainstream cricket. On March 15, the last two league games were played between Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans while Karachi Kings took on the Quetta Gladiators. Lahore Qalandars won by nine wickets to enter the semi-final while Quetta Gladiators won by five wickets.
Lahore Qalandars were supposed to take on Karachi Kings in one semi-final while Peshawar Zalmi were supposed to take on Quetta Gladiators on March 17 with the final on March 18. However, the coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of the Pakistan Super League, thus locking down all cricket activity in the globe. Karachi was the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan and the decision of majority of overseas players forced the Pakistan Cricket Board to postpone the last two games. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), though, have said there is a possibility that the games could be played in the November period, according to a report in The Dawn newspaper.
The matches of the Pakistan Super League was played behind closed doors in Karachi due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Image credit: Facebook)
PCB CEO Wasim Khan said, "We have to first sit down and discuss the situation with all the franchise owners because there are also suggestions that Multan Sultans which topped the points table should be declared winners or to have these remaining matches before the PSL-6 early next year. The losses are in terms of the targets which were set keeping in view the smooth completion of the PSL show. But as the semi-finals and the final are yet to be played and two matches have been rained off, for which tickets will be refunded, we may face some losses," Wasim Khan said.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) conducted tests on players, support staff, match officials, broadcasters and team owners. On Thursday, it confirmed that all 128 coronavirus pandemic tests involved in the Pakistan Super League were all negative. Multan Sultans underwent the coronavirus tests last Monday and even they turned out to be negative. Speaking about the development, PCB CEO Wasim Khan said it was very satisfactory that the Tests were negative.
"It was absolutely critical for the integrity and credibility of the HBL Pakistan Super League and the Pakistan Cricket Board that all players, support personnel, broadcasters and match officials, those who had decided to stay back till the end of the tournament, tested negative for coronavirus. In this background, the PCB is pleased with the outcome of the results and happy that all these players and officials have rejoined their families without any health and safety doubts or concerns," Wasim Khan said.