Quetta Gladiators’ captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and 10 other players were not allowed to board the commercial flights to Abu Dhabi via Doha, for the remaining season of PSL six. According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, these players denied boarding the flights since they did not have the required clearances.
“Five persons from this PSL contingent were cleared to fly, while the others had to return to their hotels where they have been in quarantine since May 24,” read the report in ESPNcricinfo. Meanwhile, a group of 25 from Lahore and Karachi was supposed to travel to UAE in a chartered flight. The report suggests that the PCB chose to send its players in a commercial flight, in a last-minute decision.
Earlier, Quetta Gladiators pacer Naseem Shah and Multan Sultans star all-rounder Shahid Afridi were ruled out of the Abu Dhabi leg of PSL. While Naseem had breached the protocols for departure from Pakistan, by arriving at the hotel with a non-compliant RT-PCR test. But later, PCB allowed the pacer to join the team for the PSL.
The Pakistan Super League was suspended in February this year after Covid-19 cases emerged in the bio-secure environment in Karachi. It will now be played in the extremely hot and humid weather of Abu Dhabi early next month.
The league and teams are looking to beat the heat with coconut water, ice collars and vests as well as more breaks.
“We have a strategy to use coconut water as much as we can to maintain body temperature. We need to keep the boys hydrated and avoid the risk of cramping. Since most of the games will be played at night, we are not worried about heat strokes,” Mohammad Akram, Peshawar Zalmi head coach, was quoted as saying.
“It’s more about how we combat the humidity. Hence, the use of coconut water helps us against the risk of losing electrolytes from the body. I am not sure if more than two or three extra breaks are feasible in between the innings but we plan to supply coconut water at the boundary especially for the bowlers,” he added.