PSL 2020 playoffs and final shifted to Karachi from Lahore due to poor air quality
Karachi Kings. (Photo by FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP via Getty Images)

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to relocate the scheduled matches of the Pakistan Super League 2020 from Lahore to Karachi. The cricket board took the decision to ensure the health and wellbeing of players and match officials due to the recent deterioration in the air quality caused by an early onset of intense air pollution in Lahore.

The air quality is expected to further deteriorate in the coming months and thus, PCB has decided to relocate scheduled matches from Lahore to Rawalpindi and Karachi. Along with the PSL games, the three T20Is between Pakistan and Zimbabwe have been relocated too. Those three matches will now be held in Rawalpindi. All the games will take place on the dates announced earlier.

“We have been keeping a close eye on air quality forecasts over the last two weeks. Following the sudden deterioration in air quality and now further expected air pollution in November, we have made a swift decision to move the matches scheduled in Lahore,” said PCB CEO Wasim Khan as quoted by Cricket Pakistan website.

“The early onset of hazardous pollution and subsequent poor air quality meant that the risk to keep matches in Lahore at this stage was too great. An early decision was made to ensure logistical challenges could be dealt with sooner rather than later. We cannot and will not compromise on the health and wellbeing of the players or officials,” he added.

‘Moving games important’: PCB CEO

Explaining PCB’s decision, Wasim Khan further said that moving the venue was important to ensure that the games were completed without risk or interruption. He also thanked Zimbabwe Cricket, the PSL franchises, broadcasters and the other parties involved for their cooperation in shifting the venue.

“The decision to move matches from Lahore was not one that was taken lightly. For the sake of everyone involved and to ensure the remaining four matches of the HBL PSL and the three T20Is against Zimbabwe were completed without risk or interruption, it was important to move the matches.

“I am grateful to Zimbabwe Cricket, the franchise owners, broadcast partners and our valued commercial partners for their understanding in supporting our decision. We also want to thank the federal and provincial governments, as well as law enforcing agencies for their understanding and continued support,” he said.

The three-match T20I series between Pakistan and Zimbabwe is scheduled to start on November 7 and finish on November 10. On the other hand, the remaining games of this year’s PSL will take place between November 14 to November 17. Four teams – Multan Sultans, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi will take part in the playoffs.

Here is the revised schedule:

Pakistan v Zimbabwe (matches to start at 3.30 pm PST)

Sat, 7 Nov – 1st T20, Rawalpindi

Sun, 8 Nov, 2nd T20I, Rawalpindi

Tues, 10 Nov – 3rd T20I, Rawalpindi

PSL 2020 (remaining four matches)

Sat, 14 Nov – Qualifier (Multan Sultans v Karachi Kings), (3pm-6.30pm), Karachi; Eliminator 1 (Lahore Qalandars v Peshawar Zalmi), (8pm-11.30pm), Karachi

Sunday, 15 Nov – Eliminator 2 (loser Qualifier v winner Eliminator 1), (8pm-11.30pm), Karachi

Tuesday, 17 Nov – Final, (8pm-11.30pm), Karachi