Quetta Gladiators’ fast-bowler Naseem Shah has been released from isolation in Lahore after he breached the protocols for departure from Pakistan by arriving at the designated hotel with a non-compliant RT-PCR test result. As such, the fast bowler will not be travelling to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on 26 May and is now out of the PSL 2021.
The sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2021) is set to return in Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium next month. The picturesque stadium will host the remaining 20 matches of the PSL 2021.
As per the COVID-19 protocols for the remaining PSL 2021 matches, all those travelling through chartered flights from Karachi and Lahore were directed to assemble at the team hotels in Karachi and Lahore on 24 May with negative reports of PCR tests taken not more than 48 hours before arrival at the hotel.
However, Naseem presented a PCR report from a test that was conducted on 18 May. Upon submission of the report, he was placed into isolation on a separate floor before being released following a decision made by a three-member panel on the recommendation of the independent Medical Advisory Panel for PSL.
Babar Hamid, Director – Commercial and head of HBL PSL 2021 said, “The PCB doesn’t take any pride in releasing a young fast bowler from its marquee event but if we will ignore this breach, then we will potentially put at risk the entire event. We appreciate Quetta Gladiators for accepting this decision as it confirms we are all aligned to strictly following and implementing the protocols.”
“This decision will also send out a loud and clear message to all involved in the remaining matches that the PCB will not compromise on any violations and will expel the player or player support personnel irrespective of his stature and standing in the game if they are found to be flouting the prescribed protocols or regulations,” he added.
“All participating in the tournament must understand that these protocols have been put in place for the health and safety of all involved as well for the integrity and credibility of the event and the PCB. As such, the onus is on them to ensure these are followed in its true letter and spirit and without exception,” he said.