The PCB has offered doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to all participants of PSL 2021. The decision comes as a boost after the recent cases in the PSL which saw three overseas players and a support staff member test positive, which has even made the PCB think about hosting the entire tournament in Karachi. Originally, Karachi and Lahore were scheduled to host this season of the PSL. The decision to offer the vaccine was made in line with the PCB’s duty of care policy and to “ensure all participants of the league remain safe and healthy during the event.”
The PCB is the first cricket board to offer vaccine to its players.
“The vaccine doses will be administered on Thursday and will be offered to all those inside the bio-secure bubble,” a PCB release said. “However, it will solely be the players and officials’ decision if they want to get the vaccine shots.”
The release further said the PCB has been in discussions with the federal and provincial government officials, “highlighting the national cricket teams’ international engagements and commitments as well as the significance, reputation, integrity and credibility” of the PSL.
“The PCB takes health, safety and well-being of its players and officials very seriously,” board chief executive Wasim Khan said. “In line with our duty of care policy, we have acquired a small allocation of SARS-Coronavirus Vaccine, which will be offered to all those inside the bio-secure environment created for the HBL Pakistan Super League 6.
“The players and officials will be under no obligation to have the vaccine. The vaccinations will be administered on Thursday morning by qualified health workers, strictly in line with government protocols.
“While we live in these challenging times, the vaccine has been sourced to provide an added level of protection and comfort for players and all personnel inside the bubble. We will continue to operate responsibly in our duty to those involved in the tournament.”
Legspinner Fawad Ahmed was the first player to test positive for Covid-19 in the ongoing PSL, followed by Tom Banton and another Islamabad United player, and a support staff member of the Karachi Kings, Kamran Khan. This has forced the PCB to look at back-up plans if more positive cases come up, as the board has decided to carry out PCR tests once in four days instead of the original plan of weekly tests. The next round of tests is set for Thursday, which is considered the most crucial one after the recent outbreak.