The global situation regarding the outbreak of coronavirus has affected various sporting activities around the globe and cricket is also now part of the affected sports. The Pakistan Super League (PSL) edition five was heading towards its business end before the outbreak of coronavirus took over the entire subcontinent.
In reaction to that, some of the foreign players have decided to leave the tournament midway and depart early for their respective countries. According to several reports, the PCB had given them the choice of staying or leaving.
Five players from Peshawar Zalmi including Tom Banton, Liam Livingstone, Liam Dawson, Carlos Brathwaite and Lewis Gregory have decided to leave. James Vince, Moeen Ali and Rilee Rossouw are the players leaving the squad of Multan. Alex Hales from Karachi has also decided to leave.
By looking at the current situation, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has also taken a few relevant steps and that includes the rescheduling of the tournament. The playoffs have been scrapped to introduce the semi-finals and the group stage matches are going to take place as per their original schedule.
However, all the remaining matches from now on are going to take place in empty stadiums behind closed doors. The tournament will end on the 18th of March with semi-finals taking place on the 17th of March at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.
Originally, the PSL 2020 was scheduled to end on the 22nd of March and the PCB has decided to conduct the remaining matches in the shortest period possible. The semi-finals are going to take place amongst the top-four teams and it would be interesting to see which team qualifies for the semi-finals besides Multan Sultans, who have already booked their ticket in the top-four.
All five teams apart from the Sultans have an equal opportunity to qualify for the semi-finals and the PCB has also allowed the franchises to get replacements of the players they want for the upcoming encounters.