Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah expelled from PSL for breaching COVID-19 protocols


Naseem Shah, the fast bowler for Quetta Gladiators, has been barred from competing in the Pakistan Super League in Abu Dhabi next month for violating the tournament’s COVID-19 protocols.

The 18-year-old Shah arrived at a team hotel in Lahore on Monday with an out-of-date negative COVID-19 test, and the Pakistan Cricket Board announced that the right-arm fast bowler “is now out of the competition.”

According to the COVID-19 protocols for the remaining PSL matches, all those traveling via chartered flights from Karachi and Lahore were directed to report to the team hotels in Karachi and Lahore on May 24 with negative results of PCR tests taken no more than 48 hours previous to arrival.

Naseem, on the other hand, produced PCR data from a test performed on May 18th. Following the submission of the report, he was isolated on a separate floor before being discharged based on a decision made by a three-member panel on the suggestion of the independent Medical Advisory Panel for PSL.

Commercial director Babar Hamid emphasized that the decision was made regrettably but in the best interests of protecting the bio-security of a competition that had been suspended in March due to many protocol violations.

Hamid said:

“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. 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 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.”

Shah was expected to be a major player for Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League. He rose to prominence with his pace after making his Test debut against Australia in November 2019 and then scoring a hat trick against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi last year. He has appeared in nine Tests and taken 20 wickets.

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