The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced detailed Covid-19 protocols ahead of the domestic season that starts on the 30th of September. The board wants to ensure the health and safety of its players, support staff, management, duty doctors and all other stakeholders.
All the above-mentioned people are going to be placed in a bio-secure bubble from the start of the season and they’d be able to interact with each other freely in that bubble. They will also need to return at least two negative Covid-19 tests in order to keep the bubble virus free.
The members of both First XI and Second XI will have to submit their negative tests before 16 and 18th September. The PCB will also conduct all the following tests during the course of the domestic season.
Players with negative tests are going to be invited to the designated central stations made by the PCB and they will undergo another Covid-19 test under the supervision of the medical team appointed by the board. These second tests are going to be conducted on 18th and 21st September respectively.
Also, the players are officials are not allowed to use public transport to reach the central stations and they can only use air-travel. When they arrive, they will go through a disinfection process and they'd be given a separate accommodation as well.
If a player comes out positive, then he will be isolated for at least five days and he will be tested twice as well. If their results continue to come positive, they might go through a 14-day isolation period and they will have to return two negative tests before joining the bubble.
All the players that were part of the recently concluded England tour are going to travel to Multan on the 23rd of September and they will join their respective teams after returning 2nd negative test. The national players that were on the England tour will have a little bit of relaxation because of their 10-week long tour.
Also, the board has taken the responsibility for conducting the Covid-19 tests of all the teenagers and U19 players. They will go through the test on the 1st of October. It is also important to mention that the match officials and support staff will also need to submit their test results by September 24 and they will be tested again on 27 September inside the central station.
The Bio-secure Bubble:
The bio-secure bubble formed by the PCB includes hotel rooms, dining rooms, recreational and gaming rooms along with rooms of match officials. Traveling buses and cars are also part of it. There will be an entertainment room for every single team where they'd be able to enjoy WiFi service, TB and carom board. To keep things pleasant and make sure that the players follow the protocols, the medical team of the PCB along with team physiotherapists, duty doctors and liaison officers will have the responsibility to adhere to the protocols. Dr. Riaz Ahmed will lead this team who is the Covid-19 Medical Officer as well.
There are other people involved as well in this whole process such as venue managers, ground staff, scorers and other officials. However, they wouldn't be allowed to go inside the bubble unless it is an emergency. They will have to wear masks and maintain a distance of at least 15-feet from each other.
Team managers, match officials and other relevant people can interact with each other through cell phones and players would be advised to maintain social distancing during lunch and tea breaks. If a player is found breaching the bio-secure bubble, he will have to return two negative Covid-19 tests and will also spend at least five days in isolation before entering the bubble again.