Two players from United Bank Limited, a Pakistan first-class team, were injured in a fire that broke out at the Regent Plaza Hotel in Karachi on Monday.
In an accident that left at least 11 people dead and 45 injured, allrounder Yasim Murtaza fractured his heel while 20-year-old legspinner Karamat Ali suffered a hand injury in a bid to save themselves. Ten players from UBL, along with Umar Amin, who plays for Sui Southern Gas Corporation, were staying at the hotel for the ongoing super-eight round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Pakistan's premier first-class tournament.
UBL were playing Habib Bank Limited, and were set to resume their first innings on 20 for 0 on the third day, in response to Habib Bank's 486. Having received a request to abandon the match from UBL manager Nadeem Khan, the PCB's domestic committee agreed to do so, awarding both teams a point each.
According to Nadeem, the players woke up to fire and smoke at around 3.30am in the fourth floor of the building. According to reports the fire broke out in the kitchen, which is on the ground floor of the four-star hotel located on the city's Shahrah-e-Faisal, and swept through the building. Cricketers were trapped between the second and fourth floors and were rescued from the hotel after three hours.
"I got a call from a player for help," Nadeem told ESPNcricinfo. "When I rushed to the hotel, I saw them screaming for help in the windows. They were naturally suffocating after the smoke entered their rooms through the central air-conditioning system. They tried to make their way outside to escape, but couldn't go beyond the second floor.
"Yasim, however, jumped from second to first floor and broke his heel bone, while Karamat Ali suffered a hand injury. The rest of the boys are fine and didn't suffer any life-threatening injury at all, but they were given oxygen as they were suffocating with the smoke."
The affected cricketers, after a check-up, were temporarily residing at UBL captain Shan Masood's house in Karachi.
"All the players have been evacuated and moved to a safer location now," Nadeem said. "They are shocked, however, and are not in state to carry on with the match. With two of our boys getting injured, all are in severe shock. Our team is mentally handicapped and can't play the match any more."
GMT 1030 The story was amended after the PCB domestic committee decided to abandon the match.