Naseem Shah of Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 side Quetta Gladiators was on Monday (May 24) released from isolation here after he breached the protocols for departure from Pakistan to Abu Dhabi by arriving at the designated hotel with a non-compliant RT-PCR test result.
The fast bowler will not be travelling to Abu Dhabi on May 26 and is now out of the competition. As per the COVID-19 protocols for the remaining PSL 6 matches, all those traveling through chartered flights from Karachi and Lahore were directed to assemble at the team hotels in Karachi and Lahore on May 24 with negative reports of PCR tests taken not more than 48 hours prior to arrival at the hotel.
However, Shah presented a PCR report from a test that was conducted on May 18. Upon submission of the report, he was placed in isolation on a separate floor before being released following a decision made by a three-member panel on the recommendation of the independent medical advisory panel for PSL.
Babar Hamid, head of PSL 6, said, “The PCB doesn’t take any pride in releasing a young fast bowler from its marquee event but if we will ignore this breach, then we will potentially put at risk the entire event. We appreciate Quetta Gladiators for accepting this decision as it confirms we are all aligned to strictly following and implementing the protocols.
“This decision will also send out a loud and clear message to all involved in the remaining matches that the PCB will not compromise on any violations and will expel the player or player support personnel irrespective of his stature,” said Hamid.
The PSL had been suspended on March 4 after seven COVID-19 cases had come to light. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) immediately put the tournament, which commenced on February 20, on hold.
The PCB and the six PSL franchises had met virtually and decided to host the remaining 20 matches of the T20 tournament in Abu Dhabi in June. The PCB will announce the dates soon.
(with IANS inputs)