Pakistan have been forced to indefinitely postpone their premier franchise T20 tournament, the Pakistan Super League, two years in a row. With as many as seven players contracting Covid-19 since 27 February, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) faced a row of criticism for the mismanagement of bio-bubble.
ESPNCricinfo reported on Saturday, March 6, that given the packed calendar and ICC’s headliner T20 tournament this year, PCB are looking to complete PSL by the end of May, the only window that might be available to them.
The last few days have been intense at the PSL with local media attacking the board over the relaxation in bio-security standards. Even former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq asked as to how people are freely entering and leaving the bubble as they please.
PCB CEO Wasim Khan stated that the board at the moment is making sure that the players can exit the tournament safely, but they want to continue and finish the PSL, something the managed to do last year.
"It's firmly our belief that we will continue to aim to do that and find a window at a later date. We had to deal with a minor breach at the beginning and we've done everything we possibly could. But with any assumptions for a bio-secure bubble, it takes partnerships, it takes discipline, it takes self policing. Unfortunately, we weren't able to do that effectively enough, and that is why we find ourselves in this situation." Khan told Cricinfo.
After two players and a support staff returned positive post the first round of testing, PCB sat with the owners of the franchise to discuss if they would like to carry on with the league. Safe to say they lost the confidence of the players and the owners in the next couple of days with the likes of Dan Christian flying out of the country.
Reflecting on the same, Khan stated that they would need to earn the trust back and learn from their mistakes.
"If you really want to carve out a window, you can. But we have got a lot of cricket happening. You'll have to think of player welfare, too. There are windows we'll explore with the franchises to make this work. Trust will need to be built, there needs to be better partnerships to ensure everyone plays their part in policing this environment." Khan added.