Shoaib Akhtar, the former Pakistan cricketer, has lashed out at Javed Afridi, the owner of the Peshawar Zalmi, for wanting to continue with the PSL despite the coronavirus outbreak. The T20 league already had its semi-finalists- Zalmi, Multan Sultans, Lahore Qalandars and Karachi Kings. However, on the day of the semis, the decision of postponing the league surfaced.
Prior to that, a few games in the tournament were also played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Akhtar wasn’t a happy man after Afridi’s request and said that the outbreak could have spread even at the grounds in Lahore and Karachi.
“One of the team owners [Javed Afridi] is still saying that these remaining matches should also have taken place. Imagine if this outbreak had spread in the stadium, be it Karachi or Lahore,” Akhtar was quoted as saying in Cricket Pakistan.
Earlier, Afridi pleaded the PSL authorities to end the tournament in a better way since only a couple of days’ plays were only remaining. He also raised the issue with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
“I back the decision to postpone the league but on a personal note I was in favour of holding the remaining matches as well. While we were discussing this issue in meeting with other PSL franchises and PCB, I raised the point that it is just a matter of 48 hours, so let the PSL conclude in a better way,” Afridi had said.
The Zalmi are the 2107 champions of the PSL, having qualified for the playoffs every other time. This time around, the team, captained by fast bowler Wahab Riaz, finished fourth on the table in the league stage with four victories from 10 matches.
Shoaib Akhtar comes down hard on the PCB
The Rawalpindi Express didn’t mince any words to slam the PCB as well. The retired speedster termed PCB’s decision to carry on with the PSL as ‘stupid’ and stated that the board could have halted the league even earlier. Akhtar said that the PCB wasn’t sensible in risking people’s lives for the sake of the T20 tournament.
“Honestly it was a stupid mistake by the PCB to continue the league. Also, I’m pretty sure that they would have kept it running if the case had not emerged. PCB was late about six days with regards to suspension of the league. Putting people at risk was not a sensible thing to do,” he added.