Star-studded first batch of Pakistan Super League teams lands in Abu Dhabi - GulfToday

Star-studded first batch of Pakistan Super League teams lands in Abu Dhabi


The first batch of the players of the Pakistan Super League arrived in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Supplied

Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter

The first batch of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) teams landed in Abu Dhabi on Thursday to play the remaining matches of the tournament.

Palyers of defending champions Karachi Kings, Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United were in the first batch, which arrived on Thursday. The players straight away went into the hotel quarantine as a part of the safety protocols of the bio-secure bubble.

As the commercial flights are banned from sub-continent, players of different teams were accommodated in the same flights to utilize the space. Most of the squads will reach UAE in the next 48 hours through chartered flights from Karachi and Lahore.

Safety protocol were followed in the flight also as players were seated keeping the middle seat empty. All the teams will have to follow the strict safety protocols and will go into a 10-day quarantine after landing in the UAE before the tournament resumes in Abu Dhabi from the first week of June.

The PSL 6 had come to an abrupt halt after the breach of safety protocols led to the outbreak of the coronavirus cases in Pakistan in March.

When the tourney was stopped, holders Karachi Kings were at the top, followed by Peshawar Zalmi in second on run rate difference.

Kings captain Imad Wasim shared prior to departure picture on his twitte. Imad thanked the fans of Kings for their support and urged to keep supporting the team in Abu Dhabi as well in video which was posted by the franchise on their twitter account.

“I would like to thank all our fans for their enduring support in Karachi as we are at the top of the table. We still need your prayers to do the same in Abu Dhabi, see you all,” Imad said in a video, posted on Kings social media account.

Meanwhile, Quetta Gladiators’ Naseem Shah, who was expelled from the bio-secure bubble for breaching the safety protocols has been reintegrated into the side, it was announced by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in a statement on Thursday.

Naseem was ejected from the bubble after providing a negative coronavirus test report, which was around seven days old.

“Naseem’s return however is dependent on fulfilment of the Pakistan bio-bubble protocols which include testing negative within 48 hours prior to the integration in the bubble and subsequent isolation along with two repeat Covid-19 tests before boarding the next chartered flight which will leave from Pakistan,” read the statement.

The PCB also informed that the UAE authorities granted landing permission to South African players and the broadcast crews arriving from South Africa and India for participation PSL in the same statement.

“Their arrival in the UAE is expected in the next 48 hours. The players, support staff and officials who could not board the chartered flight to Abu Dhabi from Karachi and Lahore on Thursday due to visa delay, are also expected to arrive in Abu Dhabi in the next 48 hours in another chartered flight,” elaborated the board on their website.

More than 200 players, support staff match and PCB staffers landed in Abu Dhabi on Thursday from Karachi and Lahore and began there isolation this evening.

The teams have tweaked their foreign players’ rosters for the Abu Dhabi-leg due to availability issues, but most of the squads will have the services of Pakistan’s top T20 players except tone big name missing that is charismatic all-rounder Shahid Afridi.

Pakistan’s veteran all-rounder has been ruled out of the remaining matches of the Pakistan’s Super League (PSL) due to an injury. Afridi was disappointed as he announced his withdrawal from the league after being advised a complete rest.

The UAE has once again affirmed its status as a safe haven for hosting the sporting events. A hosts of sporting extravaganzas like MMA fights, IPL, Abu Dhabi GP, AFC Champions League matches and DDF Tennis Championship have been held in the UAE successfully since the outbreak of the pandemic that brought the whole world down on its knees.

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