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PCB approaches government for limited crowd attendance during PSL
Cricket in Covid-19 Pandemic

PCB approaches government for limited crowd attendance during PSL

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has ramped up its efforts to convince the government to allow 30% crowds at venues during the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

The 34-match event is scheduled to commence on February 20 and conclude on March 22 with Karachi's National Stadium and Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium chosen as the two grounds to host the games.

While no final decision has been made regarding the attendance of fans in the stadia, the PCB has maintained the final call on this matter will be made close to the tournament.

The cricket body has formally approached the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) amidst the backdrop of a steady stream of new coronavirus cases in the country.

"Even if permission is granted to us we have to set-up a safe and secure system which will ensure that the limited number of people who come to the stadiums are safe and also they follow all the Covid-19 protocols," a PCB official was quoted as saying by PTI [Press Trust of India].

The current number of active Covid-19 infections in Pakistan stands in excess of 35,000 with a thousand individuals testing positive for the virus daily on average. In contrast to neighbouring nations, the virus death toll has been significantly low in Pakistan as a total of 11,103 people have lost their lives to date.

For the first time since the inception of the league, Pakistan staged the entirety of PSL 5 in the country as Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan hosted all the matches. The playoffs of the tournament were, however, abruptly postponed in the wake of the virus outbreak and were later held behind closed doors in November.

The domestic cricket season, Zimbabwe-Pakistan series and the PSL 2020 playoffs have all taken place without the presence of spectators in the stadiums. This pattern will be followed during South Africa's upcoming Test and T20I clashes against Pakistan as well.

The PCB is keen on getting fans in the stadia in some capacity as the complete absence of crowds will have an adverse financial impact.