The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is keen to stage the remaining matches of PSL 5 alongside home series against Zimbabwe series later this year in November.
The fifth edition of the tournament was suspended, before the knockout stage, due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) fears.
Earlier, the PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan had stated that the PCB is considering three options in order to determine this year’s winner of PSL 5.
These options included: giving the title to the top-ranked side, Multan Sultans, in case the playoffs can’t take place, holding the tournament in November or playing the remaining matches one week before next year’s edition.
According to details, the board officials recently held a meeting with PSL 5 franchise owners via a teleconference, in order to find a favourable solution for the conclusion of the tournament’s fifth edition. Except for Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi, owners and representatives from each franchise were present in the meeting.
Whereas,PCB Chief Operating Officer (COO) Salman Naseer, PSL’s Project Executive Shoaib Naveed, PCB Director Commercial Babar Hameed and PSL’s Player Acquisition & Management Imran Ahmad Khan represented the board in the meeting.
The board made it clear in the meeting that it is eager to ensure that the remaining matches of the tournament take place in order to bag the revenue generated from gate-money and broadcasting deal.
If PCB is able to find a three-day window in November alongside Zimbabwe series, then the rest of the tournament will be played in the original playoff format. However, if only a two-day window is available, then the tournament will be concluded through semi-finals and a final.
PCB also ruled out the possibility of giving the PSL 5 title to the top-ranked side, Multan Sultans. Sultans’ officials, during the meeting, argued that according to the tournament’s playing conditions rule, they should be crowned the champions as they finished top in the points table.
However, Salman Naseer clarified that Sultans have interpreted the rules incorrectly as the table-toppers can only be crowned champions if the result is not determined. The playing conditions rule cannot be followed if the event is postponed due to a pandemic. The Sultan’s management wasn’t satisfied with the PCB COO’s reply.
An official in the meeting also said that if the board is able to find a window in November, then teams should be able to retain their original squad. One franchise owner suggested that the rest of the tournament should be concluded using the original playoff method, even if the foreign cricketers are not available. To which, another owner showed his disapproval as he argued that audience interest will go down if foreign cricketers are not part of the playoffs.
Another proposal of donating the winning prize money to fight the war against coronavirus was discussed during the meeting. However, some officials raised objection to the idea as they said that players should be able to decide what to do with their prize money. It will not be appropriate to force them to donate their prize money.
In the end, it was decided that the details of the meeting will be forwarded to PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani and Wasim Khan. Another meeting will be called after receiving their recommendations, in order to decide the next course of action.
It must be noted that Zimbabwe is scheduled to tour Pakistan later this year in November for three One-day Internationals (ODIs) and three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is).