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.


Pakistan vows to raise with EU issue of civilian deaths in Kashmir 

Updated 8 min 14 sec ago

Pakistan vows to raise with EU issue of civilian deaths in Kashmir 

  • Outrage follows a viral photo of a toddler sitting on grandfather’s corpse in Sopore, Indian-administered Kashmir
  • Qureshi called the killing of the man ‘cold-blooded murder’ by Indian security forces 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday evening said he would raise with the European Union the issue of civilian deaths in Indian-administered Kashmir, after the heart-wrenching image of a young boy sitting on top of the blood-soaked body of his grandfather in Sopore has been widely shared by media.
The man was killed during an encounter between security forces and militants, Indian authorities said. Identified as 51-year-old Bashir Ahmed Khan, he was traveling with his 3-year-old grandson from Srinagar to Handwara town, when the two were caught in the crossfire.
Qureshi called the incident “cold-blooded murder” and the latest in a growing list of “extrajudicial killings in the valley.”
He said in a statement he had informed the European Union about the situation in Kashmir and requested that immediate notice be taken, as he reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to raise its voice on atrocities in the valley at every forum.
Last month, Pakistan condemned “extra-judicial killings” of Kashmiris in fake encounters and cordon-and-search operations.
“It is the responsibility of the world community to urgently act and protect the Kashmiris from the wanton killings and other brutalities being inflicted on them by the Indian occupation forces. Pakistan will continue to call for holding India accountable for its crimes against the Kashmiri people,” the Foreign Office said in a statement on June 9.