PSL 2020: Sikandar Raza and Abid Ali join Peshawar Zalmi and Lahore Qalandars respectively ahead of semis
Sikandar Raza and Abid Ali. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The ongoing Pakistan Super League season 5 has fallen victim to the widespread coronavirus scare as it has lost some marquee players from foreign countries in recent times, as the game of cricket has come to a standstill all around the globe. The PSL, however, is nearing its end with only the playoffs and the final remaining and these matches are been scheduled in empty Lahore Stadium.

However, many countries closing their borders in order to keep their citizens safe. This has led to an exodus of foreign players in PSL, who have chosen to return to their home countries and be safe there, with their families, instead of being stuck with unknowns in an alien environment. Chris Lynn, whose brilliant ton led Qalandars into their maiden playoffs in six tries, has also returned back home.

 PSL franchises had an option to choose replacements from the draft

However, the franchises had an option to choose replacements from the draft and hence Peshawar Zalmi and Lahore Qalandars decided to avail the facilities in order to replenish their stock. As per reports of Cricket Pakistan, Zalmi has brought in Zimbabwe’s star Sikandar Raza as a Silver category player.

The 33-year-old Sialkot, Pakistan born cricketer has been one of the best all-rounders for the Zimbabwean team recently and his joining the Zalmi will be a big boost as they prepare to take on table-toppers Multan Sultans in the first semi-final on Tuesday.

On the other hand, Lahore Qalandars have also included Pakistan batsman Abid Ali and Salman Ali Agha in their squad ahead of their semi-final match against Karachi Kings. Both players are from the silver category. The two teams will meet in the second knockout match on Tuesday. The inclusions have been approved by the Event Technical Committee which includes PCB CEO Wasim Khan, Bazid Khan, Marina Iqbal, Sameer Khosa and Dr Sohail Saleem.

Qalandars’ top star Chris Lynn will return to his home in Brisbane from Pakistan and will have to spend 14 days in self-quarantine after arriving in the country. Australia has made its border security laws tighter for any person landing in the country after midnight on Monday. The 29-year-old amassed 284 runs in the 8 matches he played for Lahore since February 21 which included a hundred and a fifty. Lahore qualified for the semis with 10 points from 10 matches.