All six teams from the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2021) have written to the Pakistan Cricket Board advising them to move the tournament to the UAE. The call comes amidst rising COVID-19 cases in Pakistan, with a partial lockdown already in place in the country.
According to ESPNCricinfo, PSL franchisees sent a letter to the board last week stating their request to move the tournament out of Pakistan. The PCB are currently reviewing the proposal and will decide on a plan of action soon.
PSL 2021 will resume from June 1 onwards as of now, with the league stage to continue until June 14. The PSL 2021 playoffs commence from June 16, with the final slated for June 20.
Any decision regarding a probable move to the UAE will have to be taken quickly, considering teams have to assemble in Karachi by May 23. The franchises will begin their mandatory seven-day quarantine there, with the remaining leg of PSL 2021 being played at the National Stadium in Karachi.
However, it is not clear whether the tournament will shift to the UAE. The month of June sees some of the highest temperatures in the region, and it may not be ideal for T20 cricket. Another barrier could be the evolving COVID-19 situation in Pakistan, with the country seeing a recent surge in cases over the past few weeks.
PSL 2021 was earlier halted due to bio-bubble breaches
The competition was suspended earlier this year after a breach of the bio-secure bubble saw an outbreak of COVID-19 cases amongst the players and staff. As a result, PSL 2021 had to be suspended just 14 games into the season.
But the league is back on track after an independent committee completed its investigation into how the PSL 2021 bio-bubble was breached in the first place.
With the new dates finalized, PSL 2021 franchises recently took part in a replacement draft to complete their squads after several players expressed their unavailability for the rescheduled tournament.