Pakistan Super League to continue but 14 players withdraw in light of Covid-19 pandemic

All players and support staff have been given the option to withdraw, with the teams affected by those leaving able to sign player replacements


The Pakistan Super League is to continue as planned, although fourteen players and a coach have taken the decision to withdraw from the tournament in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Alex Hales, Rilee Rossouw, James Vince, Tom Banton, Carlos Brathwaite, Liam Dawson, Lewis Gregory, Liam Livingstone, Jason Roy and Tymal Mills will all play no further part in the competition. James Foster, who is part of the backroom team at Peshawar Zalmi, has also stepped away.

The group has since been joined by the Islamabad United quartet of Luke Ronchi, Dale Steyn, Dawid Malan and Colin Munro, as well as Belgium national team coach Corey Rutgers from the support staff.

All players and support staff have been given the option to withdraw, with the teams affected by those leaving able to sign player replacements.

Pakistan Cricket Board chief executive Wasim Khan explained: “As of now, it is important to emphasise and clarify that the main concern of many of the 10 players and a coach, who have chosen to return home, revolves around avoiding a potential situation where they might become stranded either due to flight cancellations or border closures in their own countries.

“The PCB will facilitate their safe return and will ensure the same for all of the players and support staff personnel who decide to withdraw from HBL PSL 2020.”

The news follows a conference call hosted by the PCB on Friday morning. Today’s game between Multan Sultans and Peshawar Zalmi in Karachi will go ahead behind closed doors, with only accredited personnel granted access.

The governing body will continue to monitor the situation, making any decisions when necessary in consultation with team owners. No player has yet tested positive for coronavirus.

Khan added: “This remains an evolving and unprecedented situation with a number of moving parts that require constant and regular monitoring.

“Today, the PCB and the team owners, as part of their duty of care, have decided to give all the players the option to decide if they wish to return home. Ensuring that the players feel comfortable remains paramount to the PCB.

“As stated previously, we will continue to assess and review the situation and will not hesitate to make what we believe are the right decisions for everyone involved.”

There has been no discussion as yet regarding the upcoming Pakistan Cup one-day tournament and the home international matches against Bangladesh scheduled for April.



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