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PCB awaits UAE’s response on hosting PSL matches

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is left with little time after delay in response from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for hosting remaining matches of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season 6.

The UAE’s travel ban on Pakistanis has added to the frustration of franchises.

According to information received¸ the PCB has contacted the Emirates Cricket Board after the decision of the UAE government. The officials of the two boards discussed the situation of travel ban imposed by the UAE and according to sources, formal reply from UAE in expected in a day or two.

“Only after permission from the Emirates Board for staging PSL matches there, the teams will fly to the UAE on a chartered plane. The chartered plane is allowed to land in the UAE,” a PCB spokesman confided.

The UAE government has banned Pakistani citizens and not players,” he added. He said that if the Emirates Board gives permission for the remaining matches of the PSL, then the UAE government will issue special permits for the players.

All government offices in UAE are closed due to Eid Holidays and PCB may get any response by next week. However, the cricket board is left with limited options to put things in place to host the remaining PSL 6 in the scheduled time frame, from June 1 to 20.

“PCB is finding it difficult to plan things at the moment as UAE government delays their response due to ongoing Eid Holidays there,” he said.

“A lot of things need to be done from logistics, players’ visa to production once UAE government gives green signal to host PSL 6’s remainder there. PCB is likely to receive any response by next week,” he added.

On the other hand, PCB has started considering Sri Lanka and England as backup options as there is no other window available to complete this event later in the year.

Pakistani players are scheduled to leave for the UK on June 23.

“We are also in constant touch with the ECB for the staging rest of the matches of season six and the ECB is looking into matters with their government”.

It must be noted here that PCB and franchises termed UAE the safest option to host the remaining PSL 6 after National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) advised shifting the tournament somewhere else due to the COVID-19 surge in the country. After the meeting, the PCB wrote a letter to the Emirates Cricket Board regarding the league.

The meeting agreed to hold league matches at one of the venues between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. However, the final decision on the venue will be taken after a response from the ECB.