Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 May 2020

Lahore Qalandars hopeful there will be no clash between Pakistan Super League and Abu Dhabi T10

Despite coronavirus playing havoc with cricket schedule, franchise still panning to take part in UAE tournament

Lahore Qalandars remain hopeful the final phase of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) can be rescheduled for later this year, and are sure the new dates will not clash with the Abu Dhabi T10.

Qalandars have teams in both competitions. The PSL was suspended in March after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, with just the playoff phase still to be played.

The Lahore-franchise had enjoyed their most successful season in the five-year history of the PSL to date.

Having made it past the league phase for the first time, they want the chance to play for a shot at the title.

It had been mooted that the organisers were looking at a window immediately after the conclusion of the T20 World Cup in November.

That is when the T10 season is scheduled to run. The dates have been confirmed as November 19 to 28 for the fourth season of the 10-over league – pending government approval that it is safe to proceed.

Qalandars are set to play in it for the second time. Sameen Rana, their chief executive, said the organisers are looking at a possible time in December to finish the PSL, and that “there was never a discussion it would take place at the same time as T10”.

“We would love to have the remaining matches played, but a lot depends on how the pandemic situation unfolds,” Rana said.

“What happens with the IPL, what happens with the T20 World Cup, I think will depend on availability of players.

“From my perspective, we really want to have the remaining matches as we had done so well.

“We have a good team to take us through. If it was the worst case scenario, and two or three days was the maximum, I still think that would be possible.”

The situation is confused by the fact that the IPL is also looking for a new window to reschedule.

It has been suggested the T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to end four days before the T10 starts, will be postponed until next year to make way for the IPL.

Given that all the competitions select from a broadly similar pool of international players, and also compete for viewers, fixture scheduling will be complex.

Rana is hopeful that Pakistani players will be able to return to the T10 event.

All Pakistani players were withdrawn from the competition last season on the eve of the event, leaving Qalandars – a Lahore-based franchise – worst affected.

“I think there is a better understanding now,” Rana said.“Last season there were a lot of misunderstandings between the Pakistan Cricket Board and the overall communications.

“Within their ranks, they initially allowed the players [to be released for the T10]. I hope this year they will be better prepared.

“Whatever decision they make, they should make it well in advance, so we should not have to struggle and suffer.

“If PCB does not want to send their players, they should be clear from the word go.

“I feel it is better for the game that Pakistani players are allowed to participate in T10, especially the players from the player development programme.

“They won’t have any future otherwise, and this would be a great opportunity for them.

“We are hoping that common sense will prevail, and that we won’t have political interference in sports.”

Updated: May 19, 2020 05:33 PM

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