Cricket

PSL 6: Sarfaraz Ahmed, 10 others denied clearance to board commercial flights to Abu Dhabi


Former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed was among 11 players and officials who were on Sunday denied clearance to board commercial flights to Abu Dhabi, which will host the remaining games of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been facing logistical issues, including getting visas and permissions to land charter flights from Mumbai and Johannesburg, ahead of the tournament, which is set to resume next month following a postponement in March earlier this year.

“As many as 11 players and officials on their way to the PSL, including the Quetta Gladiators captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, were not allowed to board commercial flights going from Lahore and Karachi to Abu Dhabi via Doha early morning on Sunday,” ESPNcricinfo reported.

“Five persons from this PSL contingent were cleared to fly, while the others had to return to their hotels where they have been in quarantine since May 24.”

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According to the report, “…a batch of more than 25 individuals from both cities was supposed to travel to the UAE on a chartered plane.

“But the PCB, in a late decision, instead opted to put them on commercial flights, which nullified the quarantine protocols already in place.”

On Thursday, two charter flights carrying around 250 players, officials, PCB employees and official broadcasters and their staff landed in Abu Dhabi from Karachi and Lahore.

The Board had also got the permission from UAE authorities to land its charter flights from Mumbai and Johannesburg carrying members of the broadcasting crew, players and officials.

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The PCB had faced a long delay getting visas for the Indian and South African broadcasting crew members, an issue which was resolved on Thursday.

But according to the report, “…there remain multiple individuals, including the franchise support staff, who are yet to get UAE visas.”

The league is tentatively scheduled from June 5 but the Board is yet to come up with fixtures. The window of hosting the event is small as Pakistan will have to leave for England on June 22 for a limited-overs series.

The PSL 6 was postponed in early March in Karachi due to rising COVID-19 cases among players and officials with just 14 matches completed at that time.



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