Final match of ongoing cricket tournament to take place on March 18 instead of the earlier March 22
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday announced it was reducing the schedule of the ongoing Pakistan Super League 2020 by one match, and amending the schedule to conclude the tournament on March 18 instead of March 22.
In a press release issued by PCB, the cricketing body said it was replacing the playoffs with semi-finals on March 17, while the final of the tournament would now be held on March 18. The decision means the PSL would be reduced by four days and would only have 33 matches, as compared to the earlier scheduled 34.
The revised schedule sees two back-to-back semi-final matches at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on March 17. The first match of the day would kickoff at 2 p.m. between the number 4 and number 1 ranked teams, while the second match, starting at 7 p.m., would see the number 2 and number 3 ranked teams facing off.
All group matches scheduled till March 15 would continue as planned with no alterations, according to the PCB release.
“The PCB is in close contact with the Punjab Government and, as is always the case, it will receive guidance from them in regard to allowing spectators to watch the last four matches at the Gaddafi Stadium,” stated the press release, adding that an announcement on whether or not live audiences would be permitted at the matches would be delivered “in due course.” The Sindh government had on Thursday announced that it was barring all live spectators from matches set to take place in Karachi in a bid to halt the spread of COVID-19.
Earlier on Friday, the PCB announced that 10 foreign players and one coach had opted to pull out of the tournament amid growing fears that the coronavirus pandemic could leave them stranded if their home countries closed their borders or cancelled flights.
Pakistan currently has 21 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, with 15 of them being reported from Sindh province, one from Balochistan and five from Gilgit-Baltistan. The latest case is the first example of “community spread” in the country, as the patient has no international travel history and moved between Islamabad and Karachi just two days back.