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Pakistan Super League 2020

‘We were all scared’: Karachi Kings owner on how PSL 2020 finals were postponed

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Karachi Kings owner Salman Iqbal has recalled the events that led to the final stages of the 2020 PSL being postponed.

The tournament was halted prior to the semi-finals stage last month after the PCB revealed that an overseas player that had departed the tournament a few days prior – due to the escalation of the coronavirus crisis – had shown symptoms of Covid-19.

That player was Karachi Kings and England batsman Alex Hales, who notified team management that he’d developed symptoms upon his return home to England.

“It was two o’clock in the morning in Pakistan and we had a message from Alex Hales saying: ‘Boss, I have symptoms of Covid-19 and I think you should all get tested,’” Iqbal told the BBC’s ‘Doosra’ podcast.

“I then got a call from coach Dean Jones [Karachi Kings head coach] saying he wanted to meet straight away.

“We were all scared. If you have the symptoms, you have to be isolated. I was trying hard to get somebody to Birmingham to get Hales tested.

“I even asked if my doctor from London would go to him but it couldn’t happen.

“In the end, we had to get everyone in the team tested. All of them started panicking and we postponed the tournament the next day.”

The postponement was followed by false media speculation that Hales had tested positive for coronavirus, which he later denied.

Earlier this month, PCB chief executive Wasim Khan revealed the governing body’s intention to complete the tournament, with two small windows identified at the back-end of the year for the remaining matches.

“From our point of view, the first point of call is to try and ensure that we get the remaining matches played,” Khan told ESPNcricinfo‘s ‘StumpMic podcast’. “There are two small windows that we have identified at the back-end of the year.

“Ideally, you probably need no more than three or four days. So we’re just working that out. We’re going to be taking the views of the franchise owners into it, get their views on it, look at what potential format we can play.”


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