New Delhi, April 27
Twelve Pakistani cricketers and three tennis players are stuck in Sri Lanka due to the suspension of international flights in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. According to a report by PTI, Azhar Attari, a prominent first-class player, confirmed on the phone that they were still in Colombo waiting to fly home. He said that the payers had arrived in Colombo around December to play in some first-class and one-day games, making them eligible to sign work permits to play league cricket in the UK.
In the report he explained the need to play first-class cricket in Sri Lanka arose after the Pakistan Cricket Board ended the role of departmental teams in domestic cricket with just six provincial teams playing first-class cricket, reducing opportunities.
Abid Hasan another cricketer said that they were in touch with Pakistan High Commission and had requested chartered flights that can carry them home as they had run out of money after staying indoors for so long due to the lockdown in Colombo. While local clubs were generous in providing accommodation to the players the rest of the expenses were borne by the group of players.
“They relaxed the lockdown for a few hours but yesterday again imposed a 24-hour lockdown due to a spike in cases,” he said in the report.
Attari said he had even gone back to Pakistan for a while after the death of his mother but came back to complete his five first-class matches requirements. The confirmed coronavirus cases in the island nation have reached over 500 and there are 7 fatalities so far. The country had decided to lift the lockdown today but according to reports has decided to extend it till May 4.