The ongoing season of Pakistan Super League (PSL) has suffered a big blow in its final league stages as a number of overseas cricketers have decided to return home in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Most of the players that have decided to return home are English players. These players would not take any further part in the competition.
Big blow for Islamabad United
International players of Islamabad United like Colin Munro, Dale Steyn, Dawid Malan, and Luke Ronchi have also decided to opt out of the remainder of PSL. They will not take any further part in the tournament for Islamabad United and will return home.
Foreign players to return home
Earlier ten foreign players from various franchises had decided to leave the PSL. Peshawar Zalmi had the largest number of players leaving. They have lost as many as five overseas players as well as their coach James Foster. Tom Banton, Carlos Brathwaite, Liam Dawson, Lewis Gregory and Liam Livingstone are their five foreign players who decided to depart home.
On the other hand, Quetta Gladiators have lost the services of Jason Roy and Tymall Mills and Multan Sultans have seen the departures of Rilee Rossouw and James Vince while Karachi Kings have lost one player in the form of Alex Hales.
PSL would go ahead
The way the situation is unfolding at the moment, it is highly likely that more and more overseas players will leave the tournament at the earliest. But the PCB has confirmed that the league would go ahead with the matches being played behind closed doors. The cricket board has also given all local and overseas players and support staff members the option to pull out. They have also changed the qualifier into semi final type knockout mode to reduce the number of matches.
“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,” the PCB said in a statement.
“Ensuring that the players feel comfortable remains paramount to the PCB. 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 statement added.
The PCB also said that it had carried out medical tests, and that no player has tested positive for the virus.