Former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed was among 11 players and officials denied permission on Sunday to board commercial flights to Abu Dhabi, which will host the remaining matches of the Pakistani Super League next month.
Pakistan’s cricket board is facing logistical problems, including obtaining visas and landing permits for charter flights from Mumbai and Johannesburg, ahead of the PSL, which will resume in Abu Dhabi after a delay in March this year.
“About 11 players and employees on their way to PSL, including Kveta’s gladiator captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, were not allowed on boarding flights from Lahore and Karachi to Abu Dhabi via Doha early Sunday morning,” ESPNcricinfo reported.
“Five people from this PSL contingent were released to fly, while the rest had to return to their hotels, where they have been in quarantine since May 24.”
According to the report, “… a batch of more than 25 people from both cities had to travel to the UAE on a chartered plane.” But in a late decision, the PCB instead chose to launch them on commercial flights, canceling existing quarantine protocols. “
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.
The Council also received permission from the UAE authorities to land its charter flights from Mumbai and Johannesburg, carrying members of the broadcast team, players and staff.
The PCB faced a long delay in obtaining visas for members of the broadcasting team in India and South Africa, an issue that was resolved on Thursday.
But according to the report, “… many people remain, including franchise support staff, who have not yet received visas to the UAE.”
The league is scheduled for June 5, but the Board has yet to present matches. The window for hosting the event is small, as Pakistan will have to leave for England on June 22 for a limited series.
PSL 6 was postponed in early March in Karachi due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases among players and officials with only 14 games completed at that time.