PCB announces slow and careful resumption of cricket activities

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LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday announced gradual, careful and phase-wise resumption of cricket activities across the country. With players’ health and safety at the heart, the board has announced the soft reopening of the National High Performance Centre (NHPC) by allowing only the current Pakistan cricketers to have the first use of the facilities and also gave a go-ahead to recommencement of recreational cricket with strict adherence to government-issued protocols.

The procedures for the use of the NHPC facilities have been prepared following careful deliberations with PCB’s Medical and Sports Sciences department to provide safe and secure environment to elite players to help them prepare for the upcoming cricket season, which begins on September 30.

In the next phase, the PCB will announce protocols under which the domestic cricket competitions will be held. As Covid-19 is an evolving situation, the PCB will continue to monitor the situation and make amendments in the protocols as necessary.

Age-group, women and men cricketers, who have represented Pakistan in the past 12 months, as well as former cricketers who are involved in day-to-day PCB operations and players undergoing rehabilitation programmes, will be allowed to use select facilities during the day while observing strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

Players who are eligible under the first phase of the NHPC reopening will have to book the time and facilities in advance through e-mails at nhpcbookings@pcb.com.pk. This is to ensure the appropriate standard social distancing protocols are observed, while also avoiding multiple use of the equipment until these are sterilised and ready for reuse.

Players are prohibited from bringing their helpers or assistants, while the use of net bowlers will have to be nominated and approved by the appropriate NHPC authority. As part of international cricket playing conditions, players will not be allowed to use saliva during net practice.

The players will have to wear masks while arriving at the NHPC and undergo mandatory temperature checks at the entrance. The players will be required to walk through disinfection gates and train at their designated areas only.