PSL 2021 postponed after more players test positive for Covid-19

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Decision taken after emergency virtual meeting with franchises on Thursday

The remainder of the 2021 Pakistan Super League has been postponed, following news on Thursday morning that three more players had tested positive for Covid-19. The decision was taken after an emergency meeting between the PCB and the franchises. The three new cases on Thursday brought the tally of total positives in the tournament bubble to seven, of which six were players.

After the announcement, the PCB said that the decision was taken “following a meeting with the team owners and considering the health and wellbeing of all participants.” The board’s immediate step is now to focus on the “safe and secure passage of all participants, and arrange repeat PCR tests, vaccines and isolation facilities to the six participating sides.” The 34-match tournament has been postponed after 14 games.

The PCB had said the three most-recent cases are from two different teams. They were tested on Wednesday afternoon after reporting symptoms. The board said the new cases were not from any of the teams who played in Wednesday’s double-header matches, which rules out players from Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi, Multan Sultans or Quetta Gladiators.

The first case reported by the PCB was on March 1, when Islamabad United’s Australian legspinner Fawad Ahmed tested positive for the virus hours before the 12th match of the season. The following day, the PCB said that two more overseas players, along with one local support-staff member – Kamran Khan of Kings – had tested positive. It was later revealed by Gladiators’ Tom Banton on his Twitter handle that he was one of those who were among the positive cases. ESPNcricinfo understands that, as things stand, as long as a franchise has under five positive cases, their games will stay unaffected.

Before the postponement was announced, the PCB was considering cancelling the Lahore leg of the season and playing all the matches in Karachi. The PCB had also offered every member of the PSL bubble Covid-19 vaccine shots if they wish to take them.

More to follow

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