Dengue threat over Pakistan`s National T20 Championship
Karachi: The Karachi City Cricket Association has asked the PCB to either postpone or shift the National Twenty20 Championship out of Lahore due to the Dengue epidemic prevailing in the Punjab province capital.
KCCA President Siraj-ul-Islam confirmed he has sent a letter to the PCB on the issue and requested it to either postpone or relocate the event.
"The Dengue virus which is prevailing in Lahore these days and which has caused so many deaths and so many people have been diagnosed with the disease is a serious matter for us," Bukhari said.
"Some of our players have shown reluctance to travel to Lahore at this time to play in the national event atleast until the Dengue virus is controlled by the Punjab government," Bukhari added.
The Dengue virus has spread in Lahore and other parts of the province with the Punjab Health Department reporting yesterday that 412 new cases were confirmed while five more people died from the mosquito borne disease.
So far, nearly 5000 patients have been diagnosed with the disease in Lahore alone and are being treated at different hospitals where a state of emergency has been declared by the provincial government.
The PCB has scheduled the event from September 25 at the Gaddafi stadium. Bukhari said that he had also offered the PCB to shift the tournament to Karachi in case of a tight schedule of the national team.
"It is a serious situation that needs to be looked into and Karachi now is an ideal venue for the event and I am sure people here will also come in large numbers to watch the matches," the KCCA secretary said.
A PCB official said that a final decision on the tournament would be taken after the return of the board Chairman, Ejaz Butt and chief operating officer, Subhan Ahmad from London.
The KCCA will field two teams in the national event, the Karachi Dolphins led by Shahid Afridi and Karachi Zebras led by Danish Kaneria.
Interestingly Afridi told Geo News channel that he was confident the event would go ahead in Lahore as the Punjab government would be able to control the disease in the next week.
According to Afridi there was still time left for the tournament to be held. The KCCA and PCB have a recent history of animosity with the board recently removing the secretary of the assocaition, Ejaz Farooqi for giving critical statements on selection matters.