Three foreign players of the Quetta Gladiators franchise, including Australian James Faulkner, West Indian Shimron Hetmyer and Luke Wood, have tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of their departure for the Pakistan Super League.
The trio tested positive before reaching Pakistan and their arrival has been delayed as they have been placed in quarantine.
All three players will miss Quetta’s first match against Peshawar Zalmi on January 28.
In view of the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country, Pakistan Cricket Board on Wednesday announced that only 25 percent spectators will be allowed to attend the Pakistan Super League matches in Karachi starting from January 27.
The PCB said on Wednesday that the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has approved 25 per cent crowd attendance for the league.
Given the capacity of the National Stadium in Karachi around 8,000 spectators will be allowed inside the venue each match day but to ensure their health and safety as well as others attending the matches, the spectators’ entry will be subject to strict COVID-19 protocols.
The protocols include individuals above the age of 12 years must be fully vaccinated, Valid vaccination certificates must be shown at the time of gaining access to the stadium and wearing of masks inside the venue is mandatory.
Originally the PCB had planned to allow full capacity of spectators for the matches.
PCB Chief Operating Officer and PSL Tournament Director Salman Naseer said that spectators are the essence of any sport event and in this background, we hope to set the stage with 25 per cent crowds to attend the Karachi matches.
“As a responsible organisation, we completely understand our obligations in relation to health and safety of the fans and will leave no stone unturned in strictly implementing the NCOC guidelines,” he said.
“However, we will also require complete and unconditional support from the spectators so that they and others can continue to enjoy the matches in a safe and secure environment. This is something they can do by simply following the guidelines.”
The NCOC will make a decision closer to time for the Lahore-leg matches scheduled in the Gaddafi, which will be played from February 10-27.