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Coronavirus in sport: Pakistan Super League called off

PSL

Bengaluru, March 17: The Pakistan Super League (PSL) has been called off with the knockout rounds still to go, owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The tournament had entered its business end with the final four set to compete behind closed doors from Tuesday (March 17) at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore for a place in Wednesday's (March 18) final.

Multan Sultans, who finished top of the league, were supposed face Peshawar Zalmi in the first match before Karachi Kings take on Lahore Qalandars.

However, a franchise confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that the tournament, which had already been rescheduled with matches reduced and final brought forward, finally been called off.

The PSL website also tweeted form their official handle saying the tournament has been postponed and a revised date will be announced later.

"HBL PSL 2020 postponed, to be rescheduled. More details to follow in due course," the PCB tweeted just hours before the scheduled first semifinal.

There were already fears about the coronavirus pandemic after many foreign players including Australian and Lahore Qalandars all-rounder Chris Lynn headed home during the midst of the tournament, following the increase in the number of cases reported in the country.

Chris Lynn leaves PSL amidst coronavirus pandemic

Lynn was joined by Karachi Kings' Alex Hales, Multan Sultans's Rilee Rossouw and James Vince, Peshawar Zalmi's Tom Banton, Carlos Brathwaite, Liam Dawson, Lewis Gregory and Liam Livingstone and Quetta Gladiators' Jason Roy and Tymal Mills.

Peshawar coach James Foster also left early.

Despite the PSL tournament officials cutting short the knockout stage to four days, wiser counsel prevailed and it was decided to call off the event with a revised date expected to be announced as and when the situation improves.

Earlier, the last leg of Bangladesh's tour of Pakistan, which involved a test match and a One-day International in Karachi next month, was also postponed.

COVID-19 threat: Bangladesh tour of Pakistan postponed indefinitely

"Sad to see the PSL end, but health and safety of all concerned is the key..." tweeted Multan's Shahid Afridi.

The PSL postponement followed Pakistan's decision to suspend all domestic football because of the coronavirus outbreak which has shut down sport around the world.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Story first published: Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 12:48 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 17, 2020
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