The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to host the remaining matches of Pakistan Super League (PSL) season six in the first week of June.
The decision was made during a meeting between the PSL franchises and the board officials on Thursday. As per initial reports, the tournament will start right after Pakistan completes its South Africa and Zimbabwe tour.
According to the media reports, all 20 matches will be held in Karachi. The league was postponed on March 4 after multiple COVID-19 cases were reported in the bio-secure bubble of the franchises.
The match-wise schedule will be finalized after confirming foreign players’ availability.
Earlier this week, the franchises met with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to discuss the protocol breach at the bio-secure bubble and to discuss the possible windows for the remaining PSL matches.
The reports from the meeting suggested that the franchises wanted the cricket board to host the remaining matches in the last week of March and the first week of April before the IPL schedule.
According to the former cricketer-turned-commentator, Rashid Latif, the franchise owners even pressurized the PCB Chairman, Ehsan Mani, to delay the South Africa tour, starting April 2, to accommodate the tournament.
Since IPL starts April 9, there is no way Pakistan could manage to host remaining matches within such a short period as it takes at least two weeks to create a bio-secure bubble, which according to media reports, has been outsourced to a UK firm.
However, the Chairman reportedly turned down the suggestion and said to look for the other possible windows, which are May, June, and September. Consequently, there were reports that the remaining matches will be moved to September or November due to the lack of a suitable window before that.
This seemed more likely because the cricket board would not want to jeopardize its terms with the South African cricket board by delaying the scheduled tour. Also, the chartered flight for the team has already been booked, so the chances of hosting PSL 6 matches in March-April are rare. The window and June could be tricky due to the monsoon rains.
However, the PCB decided to persist with the June slot and host all matches in Karachi to nullify the weather threat that it could face in Lahore and Rawalpindi.