Naseem Shah barred from Pakistan Super League for breaching Covid protocols
Pakistan fast bowler Naseem Shah (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)
Teenage fast bowler Naseem Shah has been suspended from playing in the remaining matches of Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Abu Dhabi for breach of Covid-19 protocols before his departure from the country.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has released Shah, of Quetta Gladiators, from isolation in Lahore after he arrived at the designated hotel with a non-compliant RT-PCR test result.
“As such, the fast bowler will not be travelling to Abu Dhabi and is now out of the competition,” the PCB said in a statement on Tuesday (25).
The 19-year-old Shah has appeared in nine tests and is expected to be part of the Pakistan squad that will tour England this summer.
The PCB had asked all the players travelling in chartered flights from Karachi and Lahore to assemble at the team hotels on May 24 with negative reports of RT-PCR tests taken not more than 48 hours prior to their arrival.
Shah presented a PCR report from a test conducted on May 18. Upon submission of the report, he was placed into isolation on a separate floor before being released following a decision made by a three-member panel on the recommendation of the independent Medical Advisory Panel for PSL, the PCB said.
PCB director (commercial) Babar Hamid said Quetta Gladiators have accepted the PCB’s decision to bar Shah.
“If we ignore this breach, then we will potentially put at risk the entire event. We appreciate Quetta Gladiators for accepting this decision.”
“This decision will also send out a loud and clear message to all involved that the PCB will not compromise on any violations and will expel the player or support personnel irrespective of his stature and standing if they are found to be flouting the prescribed protocols or regulations,” he said.
Hamid said the participating players and support staff must understand that these protocols have been put in place for the health and safety of all involved as well as for the integrity and credibility of the event and the PCB.
The PCB plans to resume the PSL-6 in Abu Dhabi on June 5 but is yet to announce the schedule.
The tournament, which is being shifted out of Pakistan, was postponed in March with 20 games to go when several players and support staff among the six franchises tested positive for Covid-19.