Asia Cup called off, while PSL on verge of postponement: The Asia Cup 2021 which was supposed to be hosted in Sri Lanka later this year has been called off as a result of the rising COVID 19 cases. This will be the second consecutive year that the tournament gets pushed further forward, as it was scheduled to take place in Pakistan last year.
Sri Lanka Cricket’s chief executive Ashley de Silva spoke about the unfortunate news of not conducting the Asia Cup this year.
“Due to the prevailing situation, it will not be possible to play the tournament in June this year,” Ashley de Silva was quoted saying.
He also mentioned that the tournament could be scheduled for 2023, after the ICC Cricket World Cup. The packed international schedule of most teams is the reason why the Asia Cup is considered to be shifted to 2023.
The last time the Asia Cup was held was in 2018, in the United Arab Emirates. It was India who lifted the title back then.
Talking about the Pakistan Super League (PSL), there were talks about the rest of the tournament being hosted in Abu Dhabi, UAE. However, the Abu Dhabi Government has denied permission to those individuals who are yet to be vaccinated. This could turn out to be a major obstacle for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), as they looked to resume the tournament from June 1-20.
The PCB, arranged charter flights from Lahore and Karachi to transport the players and other staff members on May 22. Other than that, they even got everyone concerned vaccinated in Pakistan.
However, the Abu Dhabi government has recently stated that everyone who will be a part of the PSL, be it the camera crew or broadcasting team, will also have to be vaccinated. The PCB did mention that they don’t have control over the foreign technicians and crew members, as they’re coming across from different countries.
As a result of that the PCB conducted a meeting with the Emirates Cricket Board and has been allotted 24 hours to come up with a solution. They also had a word with the owners of the six franchises.
“Pakistan Cricket Board and the six franchise owners today (May 19) discussed in a virtual session the operational planning and delivery of the remaining 20 PSL matches, which are scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates from 1-20 June. Following detailed discussions in which all potential scenarios were reviewed and analysed, it was unanimously agreed to wait until the close of business on Thursday (UAE time) before a final decision on the hosting of the remaining matches is made,” was the statement from the PCB.
“In today’s online discussion, we updated the team owners that the PCB had been advised that the PSL had received approvals from the relevant authorities in the UAE. However, some clarifications on certain exemption requests are still awaited, which are expected at some stage on Thursday.
The franchise owners agreed that if there is no clarity by Thursday, then they will request for further postponement of the tournament.
“The team owners agreed that if we do not receive clarity by Thursday afternoon, then they’ll have no other option but to request postponement of the remaining 20 matches. In the meantime, we will continue to liaise with the UAE government and the Emirates Cricket Board as they are equally keen for the event to be held in the UAE,” PCB chief executive Wasim Khan was quoted saying.
However, a contingency plan is within the mix, as Dubai is being considered as an alternative option by the PCB in spite of the high costs.