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Pakistan postpones T20 league

Wed, 18 Mar 2020

LAHORE: The Pakistan Super League (PSL) has been postponed with immediate effect after an overseas player showed symptoms of coronavirus, the country’s cricket board said yesterday.

The postponement was announced hours before the semi-final matches were due to start in Lahore.

“This decision was taken after a player, who had left Pakistan a few days ago, showed symptoms of COVID-19 and he will undergo screening shortly,” the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement.

Former Pakistan player and commentator Ramiz Raja said on Twitter that opening batsman Alex Hales had “self quarantined himself” but the Englishman released a statement later saying he developed symptoms only after returning to the United Kingdom.

“I returned to the UK in the early hours of Saturday morning feeling perfectly fit and healthy and with absolutely no symptoms of the virus,” Hales said in a statement.

“However, I awoke early on Sunday morning having developed a fever and followed the government’s advice on self-isolation, a process I am obviously still following having developed a dry and persistent cough.

“At this stage, it has not been possible to be tested although I am hopeful that might be the case later today so that I can get absolute confirmation of my current health status.”

Players, support staff, match officials, franchise owners and production crew have since undergone tests and have been asked to wait for results before planning any travel.

Multan were to face Peshawar in the first semi-final at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium followed by the second match between Karachi and Lahore.

The final was scheduled for the same venue today. All three matches would be rescheduled to a later date, said the PCB.

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