Pakistan T20 Super League semis postponed because of coronavirus

A file photo of Peshawar Zalmi players celebrating their victory over Quetta Gladiators in the final.
A file photo of Peshawar Zalmi players celebrating their victory over Quetta Gladiators in the final.
Image: REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood

Pakistan's Twenty20 cricket league was suspended on Tuesday just hours before the start of the semi-finals because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) announced last week that the playoffs would be truncated with this week's semi-finals and final in Lahore to be played with no spectators to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The final had already been brought forward from Sunday to Wednesday.

However a spike in coronavirus cases this week and an exodus of international players from the country appears to have forced authorities to reconsider.

"PSL 2020 remaining matches are postponed, to be rescheduled and more details to follow in due course," the Pakistan Cricket Board said on Twitter.

The announcement comes a day after Pakistan said it had also postponed an upcoming tour next month by Bangladesh.

Pakistan has recorded more than 100 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus but no deaths so far.

However, officials have tested fewer than 1,000 potential cases in the country of about 215 million people, where healthcare is frequently inadequate following decades of under-investment.

The month-long PSL began in February, with games held solely in stadiums across the cricket-mad country for the first time in its five-year history.

Previous seasons saw a portion of matches held in the United Arab Emirates over security fears.

A deadly 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus halted international cricket tours to Pakistan, but visits are gradually resuming following an improvement in security.


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