'Building trust will take time' - PCB to launch investigation after PSL postponement
PCB chief executive Wasim Khan has accepted developing trust among foreign players will take time as he confirmed an investigation would be carried out to identify the shortcomings after PSL was delayed indefinitely.
Wasim did not specify any timeline of the imminent investigation but indicated it would be held independently to avoid conflict of interest and ascertain where the management lacked in executing its duties flawlessly.
"We will do a full investigation but it is not the PCB staff who will conduct the investigation," Wasim said in a press conference hours after the PCB postponed the remainder of PSL 2021.
"We'll discuss with the BoG [Board of Governors] what went wrong and where we did not deliver. This is a time of reflection right now and we'll carry out a thorough inspection."
Wasim reiterated that the PCB was exploring the possibility of staging the rest of the PSL 6 matches later this year. However, attracting overseas cricketers, especially the ones part of the existing squads, would prove to be a huge challenge for the host board given the sanctity of the bubble was compromised.
Three foreign players including Fawad Ahmed and Tom Banton were reported to have contracted the virus out of a total of seven individuals, creating a panicky environment in the PSL set-up.
"The bio-secure bubble is about trust, there has to be trust between players and all the partners working together. We have to recognise that internationally, this will make a lot of news," Wasim stated.
"The issue of trust will remain, the fans have supported Pakistan cricket through tough times. Building trust will take some effort but we're determined to learn from our mistakes to make sure this kind of thing is not repeated."
The PCB's seemingly lacklustre efforts at enforcing strictness of the safety protocols have been criticised by a couple of franchise owners, according to reports in the local media.
Responding to the accusations of incompetence, Wasim steered clear of the blame and requested cooperation in the matter.
"This isn't about a blame game, this is a collective effort that we all had a responsibility to police and self-police the environment. Unfortunately, we weren't effective enough, hence we find ourselves in this situation now."
The 50-year-old revealed an alternative plan to postponement was also on the PCB's agenda. He said the board pondered upon halting the event for five days but the team owners communicated their concerns about the players' mental wellbeing in these drastic times.
"We had a discussion this morning with the franchise owners and we came to the conclusion that it was best to postpone the event," Wasim shared.
"We entered the meeting with one or two possible solutions, one in terms of looking to halt proceedings for five days until we were able to make sense of what was going on to see whether we can move on. But there was a strong consensus that it was untenable to continue with this arrangement."