All systems good to go’: PCB says remaining PSL matches to be held in Abu Dhabi

In this Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, photo, a cut-out of a cricketer Shane Watson of Australia, displays along roadside in preparation of the upcoming Pakistan Super League, in Karachi, Pakistan. Security concerns stopped foreign cricketers from touring Pakistan four years ago when the country's premier domestic Twenty20 tournament was launched, forcing organizers to stage the event on neutral turf in the United Arab Emirates. When the 2020 edition of the PSL starts in Karachi on Thursday, Darren Sammy of the West Indies and Shane Watson of Australia will be among 36 foreign cricketers involved in the six franchises. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed on Thursday that it had received all outstanding approvals and exemptions from the United Arab Emirates government for staging the remaining 20 Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches in Abu Dhabi.

“The PCB will now hold an online meeting with the six franchise owners later in the day to update them about the progress made as well as to finalise all details, which will be shared in due course,” a press release shared by the cricket board said.

“We are delighted with this development as the remaining hurdles in the staging of the remaining PSL matches in Abu Dhabi have been overcome and all systems are now good to go,” PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said.

“We are grateful to the UAE government, the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, the Emirates Cricket Board and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their support and patronage in ensuring all final obstacles were removed, which has firmly put us in a position to complete our marquee event.

“The PCB, in consultation with the team owners, will now work at pace to finalise all event-related arrangements, details of which will be shared in due course,” he said.

He also thanked his staff for their untiring efforts and hard work that included “sacrificing their Eidul Fitr holidays” in an effort to ensure that the board honours its commitment to its fans to hold the remaining matches of the tournament in June.

“The holding of the remaining matches in Abu Dhabi will allow our fans to once again follow and support their favourite players and teams through our high-quality broadcast coverage of one of the most competitive cricket leagues in the world,” he said.

The tournament was cut short in March after seven people participating in the tournament tested positive for Covid-19.

At the time, the cricket board had said the decision had been taken out of consideration for the health and wellbeing of all participants in the tournament.

Like the PSL, which was postponed midway through the season with 14 matches played from February 20 to March 3, the Indian Premier League (IPL) was also suspended in May after the emergence of positive Covid-19 cases in the bio-secure bubble created for the participating teams.