The Pakistani Cricket Board (PCB) is ready to host the remaining PSL matches in Abu Dhabi next month after receiving permission from the UAE authorities to land its charter flights from Mumbai and Johannesburg carrying broadcast members, players and staff.
The sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League seems to be in doubt until Thursday, when the UAE authorities did not issue a PCB permit to land charter flights from India and South Africa.
“The Abu Dhabi Sports Council has now written a letter to its immigration authority to allow the landing of charter flights from Mumbai and Johannesburg,” a PCB official said.
He said that after this charter flights will be allowed to fly to Abu Dhabi.
The PCB faced a long delay in obtaining visas for Indian and South African broadcasting team members, but finally obtained visas for them on Thursday before the issue of a landing permit arose.
On Thursday, two charter flights carrying about 250 players, employees, PCB staff and official television operators and their staff landed in Abu Dhabi from Karachi and Lahore.
“Players, officials and other stakeholders have already been quarantined in their hotels, so now PCB is able to announce the fresh schedule of the remaining 20 PSL matches,” the official said.
He said there were no obstacles to organizing the league in Abu Dhabi now.
“We are still waiting for about 20 visas for some players and employees of some franchises and we will get them tonight, and they will also leave by tomorrow on a charter flight.”
Those still awaiting visas include former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, who runs the Quetta Gladiators franchise, and some other players.
A reliable source said that PCB will bear very heavy costs for hosting the matches in Abu Dhabi, but they have persuaded the franchisees to make a small reduction in their share of profits in the league for the sixth season.
The PSL 6 matches take place in Abu Dhabi after the PCB had to postpone the league in early March in Karachi, due to the growing cases of Covid-19 among players and officials with only 14 games completed at that time.