PCB urges teams to respect bio-secure protocols

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board has urged the players, players support personnel and match officials featuring in the HBL Pakistan Super League 2021 to religiously follow the bio-secure and PCB’s Covid-19 Protocols to ensure health and safety of all participants as well as the integrity of the 34-match event.

The PCB has successfully delivered nearly 235 matches in the 2020-21 season to date, including international matches against Zimbabwe and South Africa. During a busy season, three players were found to have violated the protocols in pre-season while only one player was found guilty of violating the bio-secure protocols and was immediately sent packing.

With over 120 players, 60 player support staff, around dozen match officials, family members and event staff in the bubble of the PCB’s marquee event, it is critical than ever before for everyone to respect, implement and follow the protocols, which have been designed in the best interest of all participants and were shared late last month.

To further facilitate the six sides, the PCB has assigned a Covid Compliance Officer (COO) with each side, who will be supervised by the event doctor. The compliance officers will be responsible for player testing, implementation of PCB Covid-19 protocols, sanitisation and players’ temperature checks. If required, they will escalate the matter to the event doctor.

Within the hotels, players have been provided with housekeeping and entertainment rooms with separate dining areas/meal room and dedicated lifts.

Dr Sohail Saleem, PCB – Director, Medical and Sports Sciences: “This is an extremely critical phase in the tournament as the sides are in the process of assembling in Karachi. As such, it is important that each side provides a detailed and thorough briefing to their players on the dos and the don’t during the competition so that there are no misunderstandings and the event can not only commence successfully but progress in a safe and secure environment.

“The PCB Covid-19 Protocols are simple and straightforward but stringent. We implemented these successfully during the domestic and international matches, and there is no reason why we cannot ensure these are followed during the HBL Pakistan Super League.

“Like domestic and international teams, the team managements and the players are ultimately responsible and will have to take the ownership of following the protocols as reputation and integrity of the competition, as well as health and safety of all participants rests with all the competitors.

“The PCB has a duty of care, which it takes very seriously. Anyone found guilty of breaching the protocols will be dealt with in accordance with the regulations. This may include expulsion from the competition.”

As per the PCB Covid-19 Protocols, all participants entering the bubble require two negative tests and a mandatory 72-hour quarantine period before being allowed to resume training and integrating with all members. As the Pakistan T20I members had moved from the Lahore bubble, they required a 24-hour quarantine period besides a negative test.