PSL final stages moved from Lahore to Karachi due to smog

Pakistan's three-match T20I series against Zimbabwe has also been relocated from Lahore to Rawalpindi

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The final stages of the Pakistan Super League and Pakistan’s three-match T20I series against Zimbabwe have been moved from Lahore to Karachi and Rawalpindi, respectively.

The move comes following a deterioration of air quality in Lahore, which has been caused by an early onset of air pollution and is expected to deepen in November.

The PSL is due to resume on November 14 after the playoff phase was initially delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Multan Sultans face Karachi Kings in the qualifier, before Lahore Qalandars take on Peshawar Zalmi in the first eliminator.

The second eliminator – between the loser of the first match and the winner of the second – is scheduled for November 15, with the final played on November 17, with all four fixtures in Karachi.

When the T20I series, which follows three ODIs in Rawalpindi, was moved to Lahore from Multan after “logistical and operational challenges” earlier in October, PCB officials confirmed that they would continue to monitor the smog situation and liaise with the government’s meteorological department.

Following the latest changes, which mean that all six matches of Zimbabwe’s visit will take place in Rawalpindi, PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said: “We have been keeping a close eye on air quality forecasts over the last two weeks.

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Pakistan's T20I series against Zimbabwe will now take place in Rawalpindi

“Following the sudden deterioration in air quality and now further expected air pollution in November, we have made a swift decision to move the matches scheduled in Lahore.

“The early onset of hazardous pollution and subsequent poor air quality meant that the risk to keep matches in Lahore at this stage was too great.  An early decision was made to ensure logistical challenges could be dealt with sooner rather than later. We cannot and will not compromise on the health and wellbeing of the players or officials.

“The decision to move matches from Lahore was not one that was taken lightly. For the sake of everyone involved and to ensure the remaining four matches of the HBL PSL and the three T20Is against Zimbabwe were completed without risk or interruption, it was important to move the matches.

“I am grateful to Zimbabwe Cricket, the franchise owners, broadcast partners and our valued commercial partners for their understanding in supporting our decision.

“We also want to thank the federal and provincial governments, as well as law enforcing agencies for their understanding and continued support.”

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