PSL matches in Karachi to be held in empty stadium from today

In this undated file photo, Pakistan Cricket Board staff are seen preparing the pitchh at the National Stadium in Karachi ahead of Pakistan Super League 2019. (AN photo)
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Updated 13 March 2020

PSL matches in Karachi to be held in empty stadium from today

  • 15 out of Pakistan's 20 coronavirus cases are reported in Sindh, 14 of them in Karachi alone
  • PCB says it will refund PSL tickets for the last four matches at the National Stadium

KARACHI: Authorities in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province announced to hold the remaining matches of Pakistan Super League (PSL) in a closed cricket stadium in Karachi, the seaside metropolis where 14 out of 20 confirmed coronavirus cases have so far been reported.
“All the PSL matches in the National Stadium, except for Thursday (today), will be played without spectators,” a Sindh government’s handout quoted Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah as saying.
“It is risky to allow the spectators to gather in the stadium to witness the matches, and we cannot put everyone at risk. Therefore, the matches will be held without spectators.”
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board also confirmed the decision and said it would be enforced from Friday, March 13.
For the match played on Thursday, the PCB and the Sindh government have strongly advised the spectators to continue to take all necessary precautionary measures.
The decision will not impact accredited commercial partners, media and other service providers, who will be allowed to enter the National Stadium, the PCB clarified, adding: “In addition, immediate families of the competing players and player support personnel as well as franchise owners will be allowed to attend the matches.”
In the meantime, the PCB has advised all players to avoid shaking hands and urged the fans not to approach the players for autographs, photographs and selfies.
In addition to this, the PCB has decided that the two teams would not be required to shake hands with each other, and they could use a fist bump or verbal greeting instead.
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said: “Health and safety is paramount and takes precedence over cricket. The PCB takes the health and safety of its players, spectators, officials, media, service providers and security personnel very seriously.
“Following the advisory from the government of Sindh this evening, the PCB has taken this precautionary and preemptive measure which will result in matches taking place in an empty stadium.
“We empathize with the Karachi fans who have been outstanding with their support in the earlier matches and during the hosting of eight HBLPSL matches last year. Once we received the advisory from the government of Sindh, it was important for us to act quickly to ensure that the well being of all concerned is better protected.
“With regards to the remaining fixtures in Lahore, we are already in contact with the Punjab government and will take on board its advisory in relation to the Lahore matches.
“With regard to the refunding of tickets, this will be in line with the ticketing policy and will be refunded through TCS and www.yayvo.com. Details in this regard will be shared in due course,” he added.


Two more lawmakers with virus die in Pakistan as new cases spike

Updated 03 June 2020

Two more lawmakers with virus die in Pakistan as new cases spike

  • Critics accuse government of easing restrictions when stricter lockdown was needed 
  • Pakistan has recorded a total of 76,512 confirmed cases and 1,688 deaths since February

KARACHI:  Two Pakistani lawmakers have died after testing positive for the coronavirus amid a spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Officials said Tuesday that Munir Khan Orakzai, a lawmaker in the lower house of parliament, died in northwest Pakistan. They said a minister in the southern Sindh province, Ghulam Murtaza Baloch, died at a hospital in the port city of Karachi.
Their deaths came weeks after the first virus-related death of a lawmaker in Pakistan took place in the eastern city of Lahore.
Pakistan on Tuesday reported 78 deaths in the past 24 hours from the country’s outbreak.
Critics blame Prime Minister Imran Khan for an increase in deaths and infections. They accuse him of easing restrictions last month at a time when there was a need to enforce a stricter lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.
Pakistan has recorded a total of 76,512 confirmed cases and 1,688 deaths since February.