KARACHI: Advisor to the Chief Minister Senator Murtaza Wahab shared a tweet on social media stating that “Sindh Government has decided that the remaining matches of Pakistan Super League (PSL 2020) fifth edition in Karachi will take place without any crowd. This decision has been made after consultation with all the stakeholders including the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday”.
From tomorrow onwards all the scheduled matches of PSL 2020 in Karachi will be held without spectators, the decision came after the consultation with health officials due to rapidly spreading novel coronavirus COVID-19 in Pakistan.
The PCB soon confirmed the development, saying in a press release that “the precautionary decision has been made to better protect the health and safety of the spectators, players, officials, and media.”
The decision will not impact accredited commercial partners, media and other service providers, who will be allowed to enter the National Stadium. In addition, immediate families of the competing players and player support personnel as well as franchise owners will be allowed to attend matches, the board added in its press release.
“Health and safety is paramount and takes precedence over cricket. The PCB takes the health and safety of its players, spectators, officials, media, service providers and security personnel very seriously,” PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said.
“Following the advisory from the Government of Sindh this evening, the PCB has taken this precautionary and preemptive measure which will result in matches taking place in front of empty stadium.
“We empathise with the Karachi fans who have been outstanding with their support in the earlier matches and during the hosting of eight HBLPSL matches last year. Once we received the advisory from the Government of Sindh, it was important for us to act quickly to ensure that the well-being of all concerned is better protected.
“The PCB has been regularly engaging with the teams and the players and have been updating them on matters. We have a duty of care to players and other stakeholders during this time; we would like to thank them for their continued trust and support.
“The initial 10 March decision to proceed with the Karachi leg of matches was taken following consultation with the Sindh Government and we have taken on board their latest advisory. We stated at the outset that we will work closely and take the lead from the local Governments.
“With regards to the remaining fixtures in Lahore, we are already in contact with the Punjab Government and will take on board its advisory in relation to the Lahore matches.
“With regards to the refunding of tickets, this will be in line with the ticketing policy and will be refunded through TCS and www.yayvo.com. Details in this regard will be shared in due course.”