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Pakistan Super League Suspended After Seven COVID-19 Cases

A policeman stands guard outside the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on February 18.

Pakistan has suspended its flagship cricket tournament after seven team personnel tested positive for COVID-19.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) made the announcement on March 4, saying the move was necessary as "the health and wellbeing of all participants is paramount.”

Officials said three players, including one from Australia, tested positive for the coronavirus on March 2, while three more players and one cricket board official were diagnosed with COVID-19 the next day.

The PCB said it would immediately “focus on the safe and secure passage of all participants" and arrange for repeat testing, vaccines, and isolation facilities for the six participating teams.

Officials did not immediately says when the tournament may resume.

A total of 14 matches have been played since the Pakistan Super League competition, the country's highest-profile sporting event, started in the southern city of Karachi on February 20. Around 30 international players have participated.

The 2020 edition was suspended at the playoff stages in March following an outbreak of the coronavirus. The competition was later shifted to Dubai and completed in November.

Pakistan has recorded more than 585,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 13,000 related deaths.