Inzamam-ul-Haq has predicted major knock-on effects for Pakistan cricket after the PSL was postponed following seven confirmed cases of Covid-19.
The PCB took the decision to suspend the high-profile tournament, featuring six franchise teams and leading stars from all over the world, on Thursday.
Chief executive Wasim Khan said that the ‘majority of players’ did not want to continue following the outbreak [BBC Sport], with England international Tom Banton and Pakistan-born Australia spinner Fawad Ahmed amongst those to test positive.
It’s the second season in a row that the competition has been halted and although it’s hoped that it will be finished at some point, it’s unclear when that might happen.
Inzamam-ul-Haq, a legendary figure in Pakistan cricket, has predicted that the controversy will have a major financial and reputational impact.
“It’s very difficult to estimate the damage this postponement has done to our cricket,” he said, as quoted by Saj Sadiq.
“The loss is to the franchises, the PCB and most of all the loss is to Pakistan cricket and its reputation.”
Big questions will need to be answered regarding the outbreak, especially considering similar tournaments like the Big Bash and the CPL, as well as a number of bilateral international series, have been successfully played to a conclusion.
Given that the PCB is trying to market Pakistan as a once-again risk-free place to tour after going nearly a decade without regular international cricket in the country, it’s a headache Wasim Khan and co. could have done without.
With the roll-out of vaccines around the world, there’s hope that bio-secure bubbles won’t need to be in place for too much longer to allow cricket to take place safely.
In the short-term, though, as Inzamam-ul-Haq asserts, this is a major blow for Pakistan cricket on a number of levels and protocols will need to be tightened if PSL 2021 is to eventually be completed.