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Pakistan Super League 2021 – PSL gets green light from Abu Dhabi authorities for June resumption

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The PCB has received all pending approvals and exemptions from the emirate to host the tournament there

The remainder of PSL 2021 has finally been given the go-ahead to be played out in Abu Dhabi in June, a significant overnight turnaround after prospects for the future of the sixth season had begun to look gloomy. On Wednesday the PCB had deferred a decision on the fate of the season by 24 hours after they couldn’t secure some critical exemptions from the Abu Dhabi government. Franchises and officials had been told to delay departure plans from Pakistan and given that the league was due to restart on June 1, a postponement seemed a distinct possibility.

But less than 24 hours were ultimately needed and the PCB announced on Thursday they had secured the approvals and exemptions they were seeking. The PSL management will now talk to the six franchises to rework logistics and firm up departure plans, with the start date of the tournament almost certainly rejigged.

The exemptions sought were, the PCB believed, critical to the staging of the event, and included provisions for players, officials and broadcast and production staff flying in from India and South Africa. Travel restrictions are currently in place in the UAE for visitors from those two countries because of the Covid-19 pandemic but agreements have now been reached between the league and UAE authorities. Those flying in from the two countries will have to quarantine for 10 days in a separate hotel to where the rest of the teams are staying. Everyone from India and South Africa will arrive by chartered flight.

The six franchises and league officials will have to go through seven days of the quarantine in the UAE, with teams put up in three different hotels – two teams in each hotel.

Players from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will go to Pakistan, and travel onto the UAE by chartered flights – one each from Lahore and Karachi. Because of the fluid nature of the pandemic in different parts of the world, there are actually travel restrictions to the UAE from several countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, which is why chartered flights will be used.

“We are delighted with this development as the remaining hurdles in the staging of the remaining HBL PSL 6 matches in Abu Dhabi have been overcome and all systems are now good to go,” Wasim Khan, the PCB chief executive, said in a statement. “We are grateful to the UAE government, National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, Emirates Cricket Board and Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their support and patronage in ensuring all final obstacles were removed, which has firmly put us in a position to complete our marquee event.

“The PCB, in consultation with the team owners, will now work at pace to finalise all event-related arrangements, details of which will be shared in due course.”

In a further indication of the keenness to ensure the season goes ahead, the PCB has agreed to bear the incremental costs of the league being shifted to Abu Dhabi. Generally, operational costs, including broadcasting, production and logistics, are shouldered by the franchises, with the PCB responsible for stadium rents and match officials’ fees. But in an acknowledgment of concerns that a shift to the UAE will mean higher costs, the PCB has agreed to cover the extra outlay.

The development is a significant win for the PCB and boon for the league. The sixth season had begun in Karachi in February but had to be cut short, after a virus outbreak in the bio-bubble. Fourteen games out of a scheduled 34 had been played.

Plans were made to resume the league in Karachi in June but worries about an impending surge in Covid-19 cases in the city forced the PCB and franchises to look at offshore options. The UAE was always a frontrunner, given it was Pakistan’s home for international cricket for so long and the birthplace of the PSL.

This was the second season in a row the league had been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, though in 2020 the board were able to rearrange the outstanding final games in November.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent



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SL vs IND, 2nd T20I, 2021

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He trusted his lower-order team-mates to play big shots if he took the game deep

Bat long and take the game deep. These were the things Dhananjaya de Silva was telling himself during his match-winning 40 not out off 34 balls on Wednesday when he helped deliver Sri Lanka’s first T20I victory in six matches.

Not known for his hitting capability, the match situation was perhaps made for de Silva, who struck only two boundaries – a six and a four – and focused instead on running singles and twos. With a severely depleted India making only 132, Sri Lanka did not require huge fireworks with the bat to chase it down.

“This is what I’m meant to do for the team,” de Silva said after the match. “In the previous match as well, what I’d been told was to bat 20 overs from one side. I wasn’t able to do that in the previous game. Today was my day and I did that. If I can bat at a run-a-ball until the final overs, letting others attack around me, I can raise my strike rate towards the finish as well. That was the coach, captain and selectors’ plan.”



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The Hundred – Jofra Archer not expected to link up with Southern Brave this week

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Team hopeful of having the pacer for the last four games as he continues a gradual comeback from elbow surgery

Southern Brave are not expecting to have Jofra Archer available for either of their next two men’s Hundred fixtures as he continues a gradual comeback from elbow surgery.

Archer has played twice for Sussex in the last 10 days, first bowling three overs in their Vitality Blast win against Kent and a further six against Oxfordshire in a 50-over warm-up match last Tuesday, but has not linked up with the Southern Brave squad since the start of the Hundred and is not expected to do so this week.

“We’re hearing stuff from the medical teams at the ECB and Sussex,” James Vince, the Brave’s men’s captain, said after Tuesday’s defeat to Welsh Fire. “I think he’s maybe undergoing a jab or something yesterday or today, and then hopefully we might get him for the last four [games] or something.

“It’s one of those where I’m staying out of it and leaving it to the experts in that area. Hopefully we do get him because it would be a big boost for us, but if we don’t, we’ve got guys who are capable here.”



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Recent Match Report – Somerset vs Glamorgan Group 1 2021

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Michael Hogan’s four-for not enough as Glamorgan let several winning positions slip

Somerset 180 for 7 (Green 87, Hogan 4-33) beat Glamorgan 179 for 9 by one run

New Somerset List A captain Ben Green produced a match-changing innings to lead his side to a thrilling one-run Royal London Cup win over Glamorgan at Taunton.
The hosts crashed to 26 for 4 after losing the toss in a match eventually reduced to 37 overs per side by rain, Michael Hogan claiming all four of those wickets.
But Green smacked 87 off 72 balls from No. 7, with 11 fours and a six, sharing a stand of 86 with Lewis Goldsworthy, who made 41, as Somerset posted a challenging 180 for 7.
Glamorgan responded with 179 for 9, Billy Root and Tom Cullen both making 37, while young Somerset seamers Kasey Aldridge and Sonny Baker shared five of the wickets.

Andy Gorvin needed a six off the last ball of the game from left-arm spinner Goldsworthy to win the game for Glamorgan and came close with a powerful four over the bowler’s head.

Play did not start until 12.10pm, with the game initially reduced to 42 overs per side. Somerset’s innings had only occupied 2.4 of them, with five runs scored, when rain forced the players off.

That was enough time for Hogan to strike twice, Sam Young caught behind off the fourth ball of the innings and Steven Davies brilliantly snapped up by Gorvin at midwicket from the first delivery of the third over.

On the resumption, the veteran pace bowler took his figures to 3 for 3 by bowling George Bartlett between bat and pad and then had James Hildreth caught at first slip.

Somerset were in disarray at 49 for 5 when Eddie Byrom feathered a ball from offspinner Steven Reingold through to wicketkeeper Cullen.

But Green and Goldsworthy calmly steadied the ship and had taken the total to 84 for 5 in the 26th over when heavier rain brought another stoppage at 2.10pm.

Half an hour later, with a further reduction in overs, Green and Goldsworthy batted with far more intent. Green was the main aggressor, with Goldsworthy notching just one boundary in his valuable innings before slogging a catch to cow corner off Callum Taylor.

Green, cut loose in the closing overs with some majestic shots until playing a ball from Lukas Carey onto his stumps in the final over.
Glamorgan’s reply began badly when Hamish Rutherford fell lbw to the final ball of Jack Brooks’ opening over.

Eighteen-year-old Baker then got a ball to lift at Nick Selman’s ribs, forcing the opener to loop up a catch to the diving Byrom, running in from square leg.



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