Pakistan Super League 2021 – PSL gets green light from Abu Dhabi authorities for June resumption

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The PCB has received all pending approvals and exemptions from the emirate to host the tournament there

The remainder of PSL 2021 is set to go ahead in Abu Dhabi in June, with the PCB receiving pending approvals and exemptions from the emirate to host the tournament there. The PSL management will now talk to the six franchises to rework logistics and firm up departure plans.

“We are delighted with this development as the remaining hurdles in the staging of the remaining HBL PSL 6 matches in Abu Dhabi have been overcome and all systems are now good to go,” Wasim Khan, the PCB chief executive, said in a statement. “We are grateful to the UAE government, National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, Emirates Cricket Board and Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their support and patronage in ensuring all final obstacles were removed, which has firmly put us in a position to complete our marquee event.

“The PCB, in consultation with the team owners, will now work at pace to finalise all event-related arrangements, details of which will be shared in due course.”

A final decision on whether the tournament would go ahead was deferred yesterday following two days of growing speculation; if the PCB did not get the required approvals from Abu Dhabi by today, the league was set to be postponed further. Approval was given in principle earlier, though the details of it was where the impasse seemed to have occurred.

The “exemptions” needed by the PCB were understood to include permissions for the PSL’s broadcast crew: most of them are from India and currently the UAE has restrictions on travellers from India, given the ongoing severe second wave of the pandemic there. Also, the UAE had said that everyone involved in the tournament – from players to officials to the production personnel – would need to be vaccinated against Covid-19, a logistical challenge given the various people flying in from various countries whose vaccination campaigns are at different stages of being rolled out.

More to follow…

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent