As the future of cricketing action appears uncertain amid the rapidly-growing Coronavirus crisis, table-toppers Multan Sultans should be declared the winners of the suspended Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 since hosting knockout matches later will affect the new season, feels former Pakistan spinner Mushtaq Ahmed.

Mushtaq was on the coaching panel of the Multan Sultans along with England’s Andy Flower and local coach Abdul Rehman. He feels it is important to pull curtains on the fifth edition. “The PSL five has to have a proper closure and that can be done by taking into count the top team on the points table at the end of the league stage and declaring them winners,” Mushtaq said.

The 49-year-old Mushtaq, who has played 52 tests and 144 ODIs, has also worked as bowling coach of the national team and spin bowling coach of the England team. He was a key figure on the Multan Sultans support staff.

“If the PCB doesn’t close the PSL 5 and tries to organise the remaining four or five matches including the final later this year or before the PSL 6 it will dent the hype and spoil the momentum of the next edition,” he said.

He also noted that if the PCB decides to organise the remaining matches later this year or before PSL 6 it will be hard on the teams as it would not be clear which player (s) are available to play at that time.

“And it is not easy to just regroup for four to five matches and get the momentum going like it was in the PSL five,” he added.

Mushtaq said Multan deserved to be crowned champions as they finished clear leaders on the points table with 14 points and none of the other franchises who finished in the top four should have any complaints.

“Believe me I would have said the same thing even if some other franchise had finished at the top of the points table,” he added.

The PCB was forced to suspend the PSL 5 on the day the semi finals were scheduled in Lahore after a health scare around England’s Alex Hales who after returning home tweeted that he had felt symptoms of the coronavirus.

Four to five matches of the PSL had to be held before empty stadiums in Karachi and Lahore due to the coronavirus pandemic.

(With Agency Inputs)