On Thursday, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed that it has received all outstanding approvals and exemptions from the United Arab Emirates government for the staging of the remaining 20 matches of the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2021) at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
“We are delighted with this development as the remaining hurdles in the staging of the remaining HBL PSL 6 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, National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, Emirates Cricket Board and 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 events,” he said.
“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 added.
“I take this opportunity to thank my staff for their untiring efforts and hard work that included sacrificing their Eid-ul-Fitr holidays in an effort to ensure the PCB honours its commitment to its fans to hold the remaining matches of the tournament in June,” he said.
“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 concluded.
The entire 2020 season was played in Pakistan, while the 2021 edition was suspended on 4 March a day after the 14th match of the tournament was played at Karachi’s National Stadium.
At present, defending champions Karachi Kings top the points table with six points from five matches (three wins, two defeats). Interestingly, all top four sides, Kings, Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars accumulated six points in the Karachi leg, with Kings taking the top spot due to their better net run-rate.
The 2017 champions Peshawar Zalmi occupy the second spot with as many points, wins and defeats as the Kings but an inferior net run-rate of 0.273 compared to Kings’ 0.697.
Islamabad United, the 2016 and 2018 champions, occupy the third spot. They recorded three wins in four matches they played in Karachi, their net run-rate is 0.202.
Lahore Qalandars, the HBL PSL 2020 finalists, are in the fourth spot with three wins and a defeat from their four matches with six points and a net run rate of 0.085.
Multan Sultans are languishing in the fifth spot with two points from five matches (one win, four defeats) and a net run rate of -0.244 while the 2019 champions Quetta Gladiators are bottom-placed with a win and four defeats in five matches and a net run-rate of -0.936.