Pakistan Super League hit by coronavirus
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The knockouts of Pakistan Super League (PSL) have been called off in the wake of the coronavirus threat, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Tuesday.
"PSL 2020 postponed, to be rescheduled. More details to follow in due course," the Board said in a Twitter post.
HBL PSL 2020 postponed, to be rescheduled. More details to follow in due course#HBLPSLV— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) March 17, 2020
As the fifth version of the T20 league had already been cut short due to COVID-19 pandemic, the new decision called off the three remaining matches –two semi-finals and the final.
The two semi-finals were schedules for today.
In the first semi-final Multan Sultans were set to contest against Peshawar Zalmi at 2pm at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
And, the Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars were set to face each other in the evening fixture.
The final of the Super League was to be played on Wednesday, after the PCB previously rescheduled it, moving the tournament up to March 18 from March 22.
The brief tweet did not shed any light as to when the "postponed" matches could be played.
The PCB took the decision after defying for weeks the calls for cancelling the event due to coronavirus.
The announcement, which brought dismay to many cricket enthusiasts, was welcomed by most as being the sensible way of going forward at a time when the whole world is in the grip of the deadly virus and Pakistan too has seen a wild surge in the infections in past two days.
Commenting on the announcement, former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar supported the PCB decision. He even said that this decision should come a week ago as the matches being played behind closed doors had lost their charm.
"At this time of hour we need to do what the world is doing [to fight coronavirus]. The PCB should have called off the tournament a week ago because without the crowd, it was no fun," he said.
Giving his thoughts as to when possibly the postponed matches of PSL could be played, former cricketer Sikander Bakht suggested concluding them before the start of the next year.
Despite remaining unfinished, the tournament achieved its target of showing the world that Pakistan is safe to stage major tournaments, he added.