Quetta Gladiators pacer Naseem Shah has been expelled from next month’s Pakistan Super League in Abu Dhabi after breaching the tournament’s COVID-19 protocols.
Naseem breached the protocols for departure from Pakistan by arriving at the designated hotel with a non-compliant RT-PCR test result. As per the protocols, the ones travelling by chartered flights from Karachi and Lahore had to assemble in the Karachi and Lahore hotels on May 24 with negative reports of the PCR tests taken not more than 24 hours before their arrival to the hotel.
However, Naseem showed a report of a test, conducted on May 18 after which he was sent into isolation on a separate floor. Later, they released him from the hotel following a decision made by a three-member independent medical advisory panel of the PSL.
In a statement released on the behalf of the PCB, Babar Hamid said that while the board doesn’t take any pride in releasing a young cricketer, it cannot jeopardize the entire tournament by ignoring the breach.
PCB Will Not Compromise On Any Violation: Babar Hamid
“The PCB doesn’t take any pride in releasing a young fast bowler from its marquee event, but if we will ignore this breach, we will potentially put at risk the entire event. We appreciate Quetta Gladiators for accepting this decision, as it confirms we are all aligned to strictly following and implementing the protocols,” Hamid was quoted as saying.
“This decision will also send out a loud and clear message to all involved in the remaining matches that the PCB will not compromise on any violations and will expel the player or player support personnel irrespective of his stature and standing in the game if they are found to be flouting the prescribed protocols or regulations,” he added.
When the tournament started in February, Naseem Shah had played two matches in which he couldn’t get a wicket and conceded runs at an economy rate of 11. The 18-year-old has come up the ranks in Pakistan cricket over the last one and half years.
While players from six franchises are scheduled to fly out to Abu Dhabi this week, the PCB has not yet released the schedule of the remaining 20 games.
Pakistan’s premier domestic Twenty20 league was postponed in March with 20 games to go when several players and support staff among the six franchises tested positive for COVID-19.