The effects of the pandemic continue to be felt by the sports industry this year. Some of the most awaited sports events this year were already suspended including the 2021 VIVO Indian Premier League and the 2021 Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Like the IPL, PSL is also a cricket league that many fans look forward to each year and it is also participated by international players. This makes Pakistan Super League – PSL Betting as popular as the Indian Premier League betting and surely, many are looking forward to seeing this year’s season conclude accordingly.
This year’s PSL was postponed in March and this was because several players and support staff from the six franchises involved this season tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Pakistan is experiencing a third wave of the virus and it has become worse than the previous waves. Currently, the country is on national lockdown and it will last until May 16.
Will the UAE Be the Next Venue for The Remaining Matches?
After the suspension of the PSL, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials and the six franchise owners involved this season held a virtual meeting to discuss the potential venue of the remaining matches. At the end of the meeting, they all agreed to approach the Emirates Cricket Board to host the rest of the season.
However, recent happenings suggest that the UAE hosting the rest of the PSL season is unlikely. The UAE government recently announced a ban on travelers from countries including Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan because of the number of COVID-19 cases in these countries. The ban has taken effect on May 12.
A source talked about the situation that the PCB is in at the moment. He said, “The PCB was expecting things to be finalized in the next 24 hours due to the Eid holidays in both countries but now with this ban imposed by the UAE government till May 12, the only option available to the PCB is to hold the matches in Karachi.”
He also said that the PCB was just really reluctant to hold the matches in Karachi or even anywhere in Pakistan. Especially after what they experienced in March when the league was plagued by positive cases.
It was also reported that even the National Command and Operations Authority which is involved in overseeing the pandemic situation in Pakistan advised the PCB against setting the match venues in Karachi.
Now that it’s unlikely that the UAE will host the remaining matches, many are wondering where else the PSL will be able to pick up the suspended season. A source said that there is a suggestion to just hold the matches in Sri Lanka if the UAE is really out of the picture. However, holding the matches in Sri Lanka entails a lot of logistical planning. Other issues may also arise and will depend on clearance from the government.
What Concerned People Are Saying About the Situation
While waiting for the PCB to make decisions and arrangements for the remainder of the current PSL season, cricket personalities are speaking up about their opinions including the former International Cricket Council president, Asian Bradman Zaheer Abbas.
Abbas is cautioning the PCB about pursuing to finish the rest of the PSL matches. He said that the extravaganza should only push through if the situation is still under control. If the situation doesn’t normalize, then the league should be postponed further.
Pakistan’s former captain and one of the best batsmen, Javed Miandad, also expressed his concern about continuing the rest of the season.
Miandad said, “I think this is not the right time to be playing cricket when all the focus is on saving lives from this dreaded virus. It is not the time to play cricket, it is the time to save lives. In these times of crisis, we should be more focused on saving lives rather than playing cricket.
“The whole world has been affected by the coronavirus. India, where the world cup was supposed to take place, is also severely affected by the epidemic,” he added. He has criticized the PCB for even thinking about continuing the rest of the season in the UAE. Based on what he said, it seems that it is unnecessary and even insensitive for the PCB to even consider it.
For now, the PCB hasn’t made any official statements about what will happen to the remainder of this year’s PSL season. Fans will still have to wait and see but overall, this will be highly dependent on the country’s pandemic situation.