Sports News

HBL PSL 2021: NCOC allows limited fans to attend the matches

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has allowed a limited number of fans to attend the HBL PSL 2020 matches, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Thursday.

According to the announcement, 20 percent of crowds will attend the HBL Pakistan Super League 2021, which will be played in Karachi and Lahore from 20 February to 22 March.

As per the decision, 7,500 ticketed spectators will be allowed access inside the National Stadium per match day, while around 5,500 will be able to attend each match day at the Gaddafi Stadium.

Furthermore, during the discourse of the event, NCOC and PCB will continue to work together and monitor the situation before a decision to increase crowd numbers for the three playoffs and the final is made.

The decision was made by NCOC after receiving  the detailed and comprehensive briefing by the PCB officials

The event organisers and the PCB, both have given surety to strictly follow government COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures, including social distancing.

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PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani in a statement said: “I am thankful to the NCOC for trusting the PCB and allowing limited fans to watch the live action of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2021. This is an endorsement that the PCB is an institution, which is capable of planning and then successfully implementing Covid-19 SOPs during its marquee event being staged in Pakistan for the second successive year.

“Fans are the PCB’s biggest asset and we are delighted that no matter a small number, but some will be able to have access to the matches. Their presence will add flavour and excitement to one of the biggest and most challenging leagues in the cricket calendar. We understand not everyone will get an opportunity to watch the matches due to the limited number of seats, but these are baby-steps, and considering that most of the sports events are being played in empty stadiums, this is a positive achievement and step in the right direction.

“I am optimistic that if we can maintain strict protocols during the HBL PSL 2021 matches we will have a strong case for more fans in the 2021-22 season in which we have to host high-profile international teams such as New Zealand, England, and the West Indies as well as quality domestic events, including the National T20 Cup, Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and the Pakistan Cup.”

Saman Siddiqui

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