Islamabad, Mar 4 (efe-epa).- Pakistan on Thursday suspended a high-profile cricket tournament that began less than two weeks ago after seven players tested Covid-19 positive, the country’s cricket board said.
“The Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to postpone the HBL Pakistan Super League 2021 with immediate effect,” the board said in a statement but did not give a day when the competition will resume.
It said the decision was taken because “the health and wellbeing of all participants is paramount.”
The statement said it was decided after seven cases of coronavirus were reported in the competition that began on Feb.20.
“(It) resulted in a situation which had become beyond the reasonable control of all stakeholders,” the board said.
The players who have tested positive are in quarantine.
The cricket administration on Wednesday decided to offer an anti-coronavirus vaccine to all the players in the competition.
“The PCB, as an immediate step, will focus on the safe and secure passage of all participants, and arrange repeat tests, vaccines and isolation facilities to the six participating sides,” the statement.
The tournament has completed 14 out of the scheduled 34 matches.
The board had restricted spectators to 50 percent of the stadium capacities due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The league consists of six teams comprising both domestic as well as foreign payers.
The squads are to face off in 30 matches that were scheduled until the middle of March in the cities of Lahore and Karachi.
Towards the end, four teams will compete in the semifinals before a final match.
Cricket is one of the most popular sports in Pakistan.
Pakistan has registered 585,435 Covid-19 infections, including 13,076 deaths, according to health data.
The decrease in the daily number of coronavirus cases in recent weeks led the government to lift part of the restriction imposed to combat the pandemic.
The vaccination process in the country is progressing slowly. The first phase of the inoculation drive to vaccinate only health personnel is still on. EFE-EPA