Lahore [Pakistan], October 23 (ANI): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday announced that three T20Is between Pakistan and Zimbabwe scheduled for Lahore will now be played in Rawalpindi due to the poor air quality at the former venue.
Rawalpindi will now stage the three T20Is on November 7, 8, and 10. Before the limited-over format series, Pakistan will play three ODIs in Rawalpindi on October 30, November 1, and 3.
Apart from three T20Is, the remaining four Pakistan Super League 2020 fixtures, which were also slated to be played in Lahore, will now be played at Karachi.
"Taking into consideration the health and wellbeing of professional athletes and match officials due to the recent deterioration in the air quality caused by an early onset of intense air pollution in Lahore, which is expected to deepen next month, the Pakistan Cricket Board today decided to relocate scheduled matches at the cricket headquarters to Rawalpindi and Karachi," PCB said in a release.
PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said: "We have been keeping a close eye on air quality forecasts over the last two weeks. Following the sudden deterioration in air quality and now further expected air pollution in November, we have made a swift decision to move the matches scheduled in Lahore.
"The early onset of hazardous pollution and subsequent poor air quality meant that the risk to keep matches in Lahore at this stage was too great. An early decision was made to ensure logistical challenges could be dealt with sooner rather than later. We cannot and will not compromise on the health and wellbeing of the players or officials.
"The decision to move matches from Lahore was not one that was taken lightly. For the sake of everyone involved and to ensure the remaining four matches of the HBL PSL and the three T20Is against Zimbabwe were completed without risk or interruption, it was important to move the matches," Khan added.
Meanwhile, the High Performance department has decided that players featuring in the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy will be released following the third-round match to spend the break at their homes. Before returning to Karachi for the fourth round action, which begins on 20 November, the players will undergo Covid-19 tests at home and then another test upon arrival. Players with two negative tests will be allowed to integrate with their respective sides. (ANI)