Days after PCB chairman Ehsan Mani confirmed the Pakistan leg of PSL will resume as per schedule, three fixtures to be played in Lahore have been moved to Karachi amidst the growing political tension between Pakistan and India.
As per the schedule, following the conclusion of the UAE leg of the tournament (March 5), Lahore (which shares its border with India) and Karachi were to host the remaining fixtures. But having faced several airspace suspensions, the board has decided to move all the fixtures to Karachi.
"This has been a difficult and tough decision, which has been taken following discussion and consultation with all the franchisees and service providers to ensure certainty and clarity on the event as well as delivery of the remaining matches as per the PCB's own very high standards," Ehsan Mani, the PCB chairman, said in a statement.
"Due to the recent and prevailing uncertainty, we felt it critical to make a decisive decision at this juncture. Ensuring all matches are played in Pakistan falls in line with our vision to take all eight matches of the HBL PSL 2019 matches to the people of Pakistan.
“We had considered the option of shifting the dates of the eight matches in Pakistan, but because the Pakistan cricket team has to leave for the UAE on 19 March for the ODI series against Australia, this was not possible. We also looked at swapping matches between Lahore and Karachi, but paucity of time would have rendered this option unworkable.
"It is unfortunate that the headquarters of Pakistan cricket will be unable to host the PSL matches in 2019 due to no fault of the PCB, but this is a small sacrifice for a bigger and larger national cause."
Following the Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir in February, PSL has observed a massive hit in terms of logistics. Apart from the fact that several overseas players have refused to play in the latter leg, the tournament has also lost several sponsors, which includes IMG-Reliance.
Furthermore, PCB has confirmed that a refund will be made to those who have bought the tickets of the Lahore fixtures.