The Pakistan Cricket Board today postponed the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 with immediate effect and the two semi-finals and the final will be rescheduled for a later date. This decision was taken after a player, who had left Pakistan a few days ago, showed symptoms of COVID-19 and he will undergo screening shortly.
Earlier the PSL has scrapped its four-match playoff, turning the knockout stage into a two-day affair with semi-finals and a final, as the league copes with the impact of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak. As many as 14 overseas players and an overseas coach are also leaving because of the developments and fears over travel restrictions.
The PCB, as part of its duty of care, has made arrangements for all the players and players support staff of the four semi-finalists, match officials, franchise owners and production crew to undergo precautionary tests and has strongly advised them to wait for the results prior to undertaking any travel.
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said: “This is absolutely the right thing to do after an overseas player, who will be tested in his country shortly, has shown symptoms of COVID-19.
“The PCB has also facilitated the process of carrying out immediate tests of all those who were involved with the HBL Pakistan Super League.
“This is an unprecedented situation, which is evolving with each passing day. The PCB has closely monitored the situation and had taken precautionary measures including consultation with relevant authorities and temperature screening of players, officials and media on match and non-match days.
“The PCB believes it has made the right decisions in the lead up to the postponement of the tournament that included consulting the team owners, holding the matches behind closed doors, allowing the players the option to withdraw from the tournament, rescheduling of the matches and reducing the number of event days.
“Obviously before postponing the tournament, we took into confidence the team owners.
“The PCB will use its reach and influence to play its part in all government’s drives and initiatives to create awareness and dealing with this pandemic. The PCB hopes and prays that normalcy returns quickly to our society so that everyone can return to a healthy and routine lifestyle and we can bring back cricket to the fans.”
The PCB has suspended its all domestic competitions and cricket activities.