Pakistan’s teenage sensation Naseem Shah will miss the second half of the 2021 Pakistan Super League (PSL) season as the PCB have chosen not to take the youngster to Dubai after he produced a non-compliant RT-PCR Test. Naseem, against protocol, had provided Test results dated May 18.
18-year-old Naseem Shah has suffered a huge blow as the youngster has been barred by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) from partaking in the remainder of the 2021 edition of the Pakistan Super League in Abu Dhabi. The Pakistan players who were set to play in the PSL were asked to report to Karachi/Lahore with the report of an RT-PCR Test taken no more than 48 hours prior to their arrival at the team hotel, but Naseem showed up with a report that was dated May 18, going against protocol. The youngster was immediately then put into isolation, but upon several discussions - which included advice from medical experts - the PCB decided to leave Shah behind in Pakistan and not take him to Abu Dhabi.
"The PCB doesn't take any pride in releasing a young fast bowler from its marquee event but if we will ignore this breach, then we will potentially put at risk the entire event," Babar Hamid, commercial director and head of PSL said.
"We appreciate Quetta Gladiators for accepting this decision as it confirms we are all aligned to strictly following and implementing the protocols."
"This decision will also send out a loud and clear message to all involved in the remaining matches that the PCB will not compromise on any violations and will expel the player or player support personnel irrespective of his stature and standing in the game if they are found to be flouting the prescribed protocols or regulations.
"All participating in the tournament 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. As such, the onus is on them to ensure these are followed in its true letter and spirit and without exception."
Shahid Afridi to miss PSL 2021 with injury
Naseem Shah won’t be the only high profile name to miss the event, though, as it has been confirmed that Shahid Afridi will also be taking no part in the competition owing to injury. Afridi, 41, was set to represent Multan Sultans, but the emergence of a back injury has seen the veteran pull out of the tournament.
"While training for the remainder of the HBL Pakistan Super League 6, I felt lower back pain and had to consult a doctor," Afridi said, reported Cricbuzz.
"Unfortunately I have been advised to rest and can no longer accompany my team Multan Sultans for the Abu Dhabi-leg.
"I am disappointed that I would be sitting out of the tournament, but my best wishes, support and prayers are with the team to take the trophy."
Incidentally, Multan Sultans have roped in left-arm spinner Asif Afridi to replace his namesake.