Good news for the Pakistani cricket fans

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Good news for the Pakistani cricket fans

LAHORE – The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Thursday allowed 20 per cent of crowds to attend the Pakistan Super League link (PSL) 2021 as coronavirus vaccine drive launched across the country.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in a statement said that the decision means around 7,500 ticketed spectators will be allowed access inside the National Stadium per match day, while around 5,500 will be able to attend each match day at the Gaddafi Stadium.

The decision comes on the heels of the launch of the inoculation drive in Pakistan that reported 31 deaths and over 15,00 COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours on Thursday.

During the course of the event, the NCOC and the PCB will continue to work together and monitor the situation before a decision to increase crowd numbers for the three playoffs and the final is made.

The NCOC made the decision following a detailed and comprehensive briefing by the PCB officials, in which they assured that the event organisers and the PCB will strictly follow government Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures, including social distancing.

Now that the NCOC has supported crowd attendances for the HBL PSL 2021, the PCB will soon announce its ticketing policy to provide further clarity to the fans on how they can purchase tickets and the process to enter/exit the venues during the matches.

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said, “I am thankful to the NCOC for trusting the PCB and allowing limited fans to watch the live-action of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2021. This is an endorsement that the PCB is an institution, which is capable of planning and then successfully implementing Covid-19 SOPs during its marquee event being staged in Pakistan for the second successive year.

“Fans are the PCB’s biggest asset and we are delighted that no matter a small number, but some will be able to have access to the matches. Their presence will add flavour and excitement to one of the biggest and most challenging leagues in the cricket calendar. We understand not everyone will get an opportunity to watch the matches due to the limited number of seats, but these are baby-steps, and considering that most of the sports events are being played in an empty stadium, this is a positive achievement and step in the right direction.

“I am optimistic that if we can maintain strict protocols during the HBL PSL 2021 matches we will have a strong case for more fans in the 2021-22 season in which we have to host high-profile international teams such as New Zealand, England, and the West Indies as well as quality domestic events, including the National T20 Cup, Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and the Pakistan Cup.”