The Pakistan Super League is set to play its remaining matches in June in Karachi after the Twenty20 cricket tournament was postponed following a COVID-19 outbreak.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced the postponement of the tournament last week after seven cases of COVID-19 were reported. The tournament, which was taking place in Karachi and Lahore, began on February 20 and had been due to run until March 22.

Among those who tested positive for COVID-19 were England and Somerset batsman Tom Banton, who plays for the Quetta Gladiators. Six players tested positive in total, along with one member of support staff.

The PCB has now signalled its intention to stage the remaining 20 matches in June in Karachi following a meeting held with the six franchise owners. June has emerged as the preferred and most practical window due to the busy cricket calendar in March/April and August/September.

The Pakistan men’s national cricket team is due to return from Zimbabwe on May 13 before departing for England on June 26. It is intended that the remaining PSL matches will take place in this window.

The PCB management will now look into the operational and logistical challenges of staging the tournament on rescheduled dates before reverting back to franchise owners and stakeholders.

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. The PCB later announced that crowds of up to 50% capacity would be permitted in Karachi.

Image: Pakistan Cricket Board