The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has postponed the Pakistan Super League Twenty20 tournament with immediate effect after seven cases of COVID-19 were reported.
The PCB made the announcement earlier today (Thursday) following a meeting with team owners, with the situation having become “beyond the reasonable control of all stakeholders”.
The 2021 PSL season got underway on February 20 and is being played in Karachi and Lahore. The tournament had been due to run until March 22.
The PCB said its focus will now be on the safe and secure passage of all participants, with the body to also arrange repeat PCR tests, vaccines and isolation facilities to the six teams.
Among those who tested positive for COVID-19 were England and Somerset batsman Tom Banton, who plays for the Quetta Gladiators. Six players have tested positive in total, along with one member of support staff.
So far, 14 of the scheduled 34 matches have been completed. It is unclear when the tournament will resume.
The PSL got underway with stadiums operating at 20% capacity, meaning that around 7,500 ticketed spectators were allowed access to Karachi’s National Stadium per match day and around 5,500 were permitted at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium (pictured).
Last week, the PCB announced that crowds of up to 50% capacity would be permitted in Karachi. The PCB said at the time that a decision on matches in Lahore would be made in due course.
A strict ‘no mask, no entry’ policy has been enforced at stadiums throughout the tournament.