The playoffs of fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) were postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak worldwide. The discussions on whether to reschedule the remaining matches are still going on.
The Lahore Qalandars qualified for the semi-finals for the first time in their five-year history of the PSL.
With the probability of new dates yet to be announced, Qalandars’ head coach Aaqib Javed has made it clear that the availability of the foreign players is not going to be a problem.
Javed also believes that the rest of the matches should be played in the original playoffs format rather than the newly introduced semi-finals.
“Teams that have qualified for PSL 5 playoffs would require only five foreigners in their team, which means 20 international players in total would be needed if the tournament resumes in September,” Javed said.
The majority of Lahore’s foreign players stayed till the postponement of the tournament except for Chris Lynn and David Wiese.
“Except for Chris Lynn, the entire foreign contingent of Lahore Qalandars stayed in Pakistan till the tournament was postponed. Other teams also had the majority of their foreign players available.”
“All the foreign cricketers felt safe and were happy in Pakistan. Once the tournament resumes, availability of foreign players won't be an issue,” he added.
According to several media outlets, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is thinking about staging the remaining PSL matches in November alongside the home series of the men in green against Zimbabwe. Whereas Aaqib Javed feels that the month of September is going to be the ideal time to host the remaining PSL matches.
“If the remaining matches are staged in September, then fans will be even more interested than before to watch the league,” he said.
As the fans are currently isolated in their homes deprived of any cricket, they will certainly come out to support their favorite teams as soon as the matches take place.
“Right now, people are isolated in their homes. First, they used to crave international cricket, but now they are deprived of any sort of cricket. So if the tournament resumes in September, they will be even hungrier for watching some live cricket action and the league will reach new heights.”
The Multan Sultans finished at the top of the table after the league stage was concluded and the franchise had been asking for them to be declared winners. However, the 47-year old feels that the tournament should be concluded on the field and the remaining three teams should get their chance of having at a shot at the title.
“PSL has been postponed and not canceled due to an unprecedented situation. The tournament is more important than any team winning or losing,” he said.
“Once the situation improves, the remaining matches should resume as it is important for the tournament’s popularity that the champion is decided by competing on the ground and not through a toss or some other rule.”
Javed also stated that it is in favor of everyone that the tournament gets concluded in the correct fashion rather than deciding the winners by a toss or some other rule.
“Players compete for the fans in the stadiums and those watching on Television. Similarly, broadcasters are also interested in the league as they want to telecast the matches to as many people as possible,” he concluded.