Since the 2021 edition of the Pakistan Super League was banned in March earlier this year, PCB have been facing all kinds of challenges and obstacles in their bid to resume the tournament. After it was announced that the remainder of the season will be conducted in June in Karachi, the venue had to be changed to UAE in light of the safety of players. PCB had to wait for some time to get the clearance from Emirates Cricket Board and when they got the green light, the logistical issues served as another hindrance. After it looked like everything had been sorted, the board has been dealt with another major blow on Sunday.
Another major blow to PSL 2021
More than 270 members, including players, staff and other key stakeholders have already landed in Abu Dhabi, with most of them having flown over on a special chartered flight from Pakistan on May 27. All those personnel have already started their mandatory quarantine before they enter the tournament's bio-secure bubble. While most of the members have reached UAE, some of them are still left stranded in Pakistan.
“As many as 11 players and officials on their way to the PSL, including the Quetta Gladiators captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, were not allowed to board commercial flights going from Lahore and Karachi to Abu Dhabi via Doha early morning on Sunday,” ESPNcricinfo reported. Notably, the people involved did not have the required clearances to enter UAE as per the travel restrictions which is why they were stopped in Pakistan. While five people from this PSL contingent were cleared to fly, the others had to return to their hotels where they have been in quarantine since May 24.
Sarfaraz was reportedly not happy as the Quetta Gladiator’s skipper said he didn’t like the ineptitude shown by PCB this time around.
Another talking point in this whole scenario was the surprising fact that the players and staff members were boarding a commercial flight. It had been revealed earlier that a batch of more than 25 individuals will travel to UAE on a chartered plan but PCB made a late call to change the initial plan. The fans would just hope that this small change of plan does not affect the whole tournament which is slated to begin in June.