"The bottom line is that this is a collective failure"
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on March 4, 2021, that the Pakistan Super League (PSL) will be postponed after seven players tested positive for Covid-19.
The PCB made the decision “following a meeting with the team owners and considering the health and wellbeing of all participants”.
The cricket board said that as an immediate step, it would now focus on the safe and secure passage of all participants, and arrange repeat PCR tests, vaccines, and isolation facilities to the six participating sides.
Less than half of the total scheduled matches of the tournament have been played so far.
While speaking to the press, Wasim Khan, PCB CEO, claimed that the postponement was a failure of all stakeholders.
“Franchises have invested a lot of money to make the PSL work, so there are always going to be a lot of emotions, particularly in the first 24 hours.
“Any environment can only work if all stakeholders are on the same page.
“It is not the time to be fighting with franchises and blame each other.
“The bottom line is that this is a collective failure and there has to be a sense of collective responsibility.”
The first case of Covid-19 reported by the PCB was on March 1, 2021.
This was when Fawad Ahmed, Islamabad United’s leg spinner, tested positive.
The case was reported a couple of hours before the 12th match of the sixth season of the Pakistan Super League.
The next day, the PCB reported that two more players from the league had tested positive.
Along with the two players, a staff member tested positive too.
Cricketer Tom Banton revealed on Twitter that he was one of those who had tested positive. He said:
“Thanks a lot for all the messages and well wishes.
“Unfortunately, I received a positive Covid-19 test yesterday and I am now isolating and following PSL protocols.”
— Tom Banton (@TBanton18) March 3, 2021
After it was decided that the league would be postponed, three further cases from two different teams came to light.
They were tested on March 4, 2021, after reporting symptoms.
PCB informed that the new cases were not from the teams that played on Wednesday.
This rules out all players from Karachi Kings, Peshawer Zalmi, Multan Sultans and Quetta Gladiators.
PCB had earlier announced that they had offered Covid-19 vaccine shots to all members of the PSL bubble.
It was also being considered that all matches would be played in Karachi rather than moving to Lahore.