Pakistan Cricket Board has changed the venue for the T20I matches between Zimbabwe and Pakistan. Also the Pakistan Super League playoffs have been shifted from Lahore due to seasonal smog. Rawalpindi will host the T20I games along with the already scheduled ODI games while Karachi has been given four playoff games including the final on November 17.
Wasim Khan, PCB chief executive 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 well-being of the players or officials.”
Two weeks back PCB shifted the T20I games to Lahore from Multan. This decision was made after some disagreement between city government and PCB over financial model.
Lahore has, over the past few years, faced increasingly high levels of seasonal smog in November and December, with the early onset of smog rendering the city unfit to host cricket, as scheduled, in the second week of November.
The PCB usually avoids hosting matches there in November-December and prefers the southern part of the country to avoid any inconvenience. Multan, situated in southern Punjab, was part of the original plan for that reason. Smog is less of an issue for Karachi, the southern-most city in the country, thanks to the sea breeze it experiences owing to its location along the Arabian Sea.