LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to enforce strict health and safety protocols for the upcoming seventh edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in order to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
In a document, sent to all the franchises, the PCB has shared to enforce stern health and safety protocols for the forthcoming PSL 7. In order to avoid the league being postponed or cancelled, the cricket board might establish three separate bio-secure bubbles for the marquee event.
As per the details, the primary bio-secure bubble includes players from all teams, support staff, match officials, hotel staff and certain PCB officials. Vehicle drivers, close protection security staff, reserve players, bubble-integrity managers, anti-corruption officials and hotel staff will all reside within the bubble and are not allowed to leave.
The TV production crew, key event management workers, and essential hotel staff and drivers will be housed in the second bubble, which will be formed at a separate hotel. The groundstaff will be accommodated in dedicated biosecure accommodation in the third bubble.
According to the details, the bubbles will be prohibited to interact with each other and will be bound to follow the general health and safety guidelines to keep the integrity of the bubble.
The players will undergo a total of 17 tests during the league, starting on January 20 – the day teams check into the hotel. The players will then undergo a three-day isolation period and will have to return two negative results to be able to enter the bubble. The players will then be tested every second day.
If an individual returns a positive result, the same will be separated from the rest of the squad, followed by a PCR test and will be sent to isolation for a mandatory period of seven days. All close and casual contacts will also be isolated and tested.
If the previously contracted individual is asymptomatic on day seven, they will be subjected to a Rapid Antigen Test, and if the result is negative, they will be re-integrated into their bubble. However, if the symptoms persist on day seven, the isolation period will then be extended to 10 days, while there will be no requirement for an exit test to rejoin the bubble if the individual is asymptomatic on that day.
In addition, the PCB has classified five punishments for breaching the bubble, with violators facing sanctions based on the severity of the infringement.
The five punishments include warning, match fees deduction of 5 percent to 25 percent, 25 to 50% match fee deduction, one to five-match ban. Serious violations can also be punished by expulsion from the league.
Furthermore, the PCB has categorized various acts of misbehaviour into two levels of violence.
- Violation of social distancing outside of certain spaces
- Sharing of water bottles, towels, goods, and kits
- Shaking hands before or after the match
- Leaving laundry in grounds or dressing rooms
- Going to the isolation room without permission
- Being treated by physiotherapists or masseurs without a face mask
- More than 15 minutes of a physiotherapy session
- Being in a restricted area without permission
- Inviting someone other than the hotel’s maintenance staff
- Going to meet someone
- When the mask must be worn and not worn
- Ordering something in the room without the permission of the Bio-bubble Integrity Manager
- Not updating the symptoms when requested
- Usage of medications that reduce symptoms or affect test results
- Meeting someone who is COVID-19 positive or has severe symptoms
- Updating an unauthorized person about COVID cases or someone’s symptoms out of the bubble
It is apropos to mention here that some details suggest that if the PSL were to be postponed for some reason, it would have to be cancelled altogether since there will be no window to play the remaining games.