Coronavirus outbreak: PSL 2020 postponed, knockouts to be rescheduled
The knockout games of Pakistan Super League 2020 have been deferred until further notice, owing the coronavirus pandemic. The two semi-finals and a final, which had to be held on March 17 and 18 respectively, will be rescheduled to a later date. Earlier, PCB decided to mow down the remaining season in the wake of the dire crisis. Here is more.
Peshawar Zalmi were supposed to lock horns with Mutlan Sultans in the first semi-final, while the second semi-final would have been seen Karachi Kings facing Lahore Qalandars. Both the matches were scheduled at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on March 17. Earlier, the Pakistan Cricket Board decided to continue the tournament as planned, but staged the matches behind closed doors.
Over a dozen foreign players left the PSL midway due to the threat of novel coronavirus. The board, however, allowed the franchises to rope in local players as replacements. Australian batsman Chirs Lynn was the latest to join the contingent for overseas players who departed. Lynn, who represented Lahore Qalandars in the tournament, smashed a blistering 113 off 55 balls in their last fixture.
Even as the cases of coronavirus surged in Pakistan, the PCB held PSL matches after seeking permission from the government. Besides, the number of playing days were trimmed by four. Earlier, the playoffs were to be played from March 17 to March 22 with the first match in Karachi and the remaining three in Lahore. It was then decided the semi-finals will be double-headers.
Previously, the ODI and Test match between Pakistan and Bangladesh were postponed, owing the outbreak. The two cricket boards made an unanimous decision to defer the matches, which were initially scheduled to be played in April. Furthermore, the domestic Pakistan Cup, which was scheduled to commence on March 25, was also postponed. The tournament featured six six provincial teams.