NCOC allow 20% crowd in HBL PSL 2021

ISLAMABAD: : The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has allowed 20 percent crowds to attend the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021, scheduled to be played in Karachi and Lahore from February 20 to March 22, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Thursday.

The decision means around 7, 500 ticketed spectators would 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.

During the course of the event, the NCOC and PCB would continue to work together and monitor the situation before a decision to increase crowd numbers for the three playoffs and the final was made.

The NCOC made the decision following a detailed and comprehensive briefing by PCB officials, in which they assured that the event organisers and the PCB would strictly follow government COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), including social distancing.

Now that NCOC has supported crowd attendances for the PSL 2021, the PCB would soon announce its ticketing policy to provide further clarity to the fans on how they can purchase tickets and the process to enter/exit the venues during the matches.

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said he was thankful to NCOC for trusting PCB and allowing limited fans to watch live action of the PSL 2021.

This was an endorsement that PCB was 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 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 sport events are being played in empty stadium, this is a positive achievement and step in the right direction.

“I am optimistic that if we can maintain strict protocols during the PSL matches we will have a strong case for more fans in the 2021-22 season in which we have to host high-profile internationals 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, ” he said.