Abu Dhabi has been confirmed to stage the remaining matches of the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The picturesque stadium will host 20 games of the sixth season, marking the first time since 2019 that the venue will play as hosts for the T20 league. Only 14 league fixtures were possible in March before the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided to postpone it indefinitely due to a handful of COVID-19 positive cases inside the bubble.
It was during the 2019 edition that Abu Dhabi hosted the PSL for the first time when four league games occurred there. Quetta Gladiators won both their fixtures, while Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi emerged triumphant in the other two. Meanwhile, Lahore Qalanders skipper Sohail Akhtar is the only current player in PSL to score a T20 century at the venue. Akhtar hammered 100 off 56 deliveries against Yorkshire in an Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy in October 2018.
The developments around the T20 tournament have been rapid, notably, Multan Sultans’ Shahid Afridi pulling out of the event due to a back injury. Young fast bowler Naseem Shah was expelled from the remainder of the PSL 2021 since he produced a COVID-19 report of a test taken from the 18th of May, contrary to the requirements that needed all the participants to bring a negative RT-PCR report taken not more than 48 hours before their arrival in the team hotel. In addition, Anwar Ali tested positive for COVID-19, making him miss the flight to the UAE, while Inzamam-Ul-Haq joined Peshawar Zalmi as a batting consultant.
Wasim Khan thankful to the all the stakeholders for their support in the resumption of PSL 6:
Only 14 out of the 30 group matches could take place before its suspension. Notable players like Fawad Ahmed of Islamabad United and Tom Banton of Quetta Gladiators tested positive for COVID-19. The increased COVID-19 cases in Pakistan forced the board to shift the season to the UAE and on May 20th, the authorities received permission. PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan expressed his delightedness after crossing the remaining hurdles to host the PSL 6 and thanked UAE government, National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, Emirates Cricket Board, and Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their support.
“We are delighted with this development as the remaining hurdles in the staging of the remaining PSL 6 matches in Abu Dhabi have been overcome and all systems are now good to go. 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,” Khan said as quoted by Hindustan Times.