‘Imagine if this outbreak...’: Shoaib Akhtar hits out at PSL team owner over Coronavirus remark
Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar lashed out at Peshawar Zalmi owner Javed Afridi after the latter suggested Pakistan Super League (PSL) could have continued for another 48 hours. The PSL had entered the knockout stages and semifinal matches were due to be played on Tuesday, however, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) postponed remainder of the tournament amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the postponement news, Javed Afridi had said he was in favour of holding the final few matches of the tournament. He suggested that it is only a matter of two days that the tournament will come to an end.
“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 was quoted as saying by ProPakistani.pk.
This didn’t go down well with Akhtar and he hit back at Afridi by asking who would have been responsible if virus had spread in the stadium filled with fans during a match.
“One of the team owners 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 by ProPakistani.pk.
“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.”
The PSL had seen numerous withdrawals by foreign players in the last few days and most had left the event to return home in view of the pandemic that has claimed more than 7,000 lives internationally.