The Pakistan Cricket Board, in the wake of a mini Covid outbreak in PSL, have offered all participants of the T20 extravaganza doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. By doing so, the PCB have become the first cricket board in the world to offer vaccines to its players, in an attempt to tackle the pandemic.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have taken a unique pathway in their attempt to battle the raging pandemic that is the Covid-19 as the board have offered vaccine shots to all the participants of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The development comes in the wake of three overseas players and a support staff testing positive for the virus over the last few days, owing to which the PCB had to reschedule a match between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators.
The decision, the PCB said, was taken to ‘ensure all participants of the league remain safe and healthy during the event’ and confirmed that taking the vaccine shot will not be mandatory and individuals can choose whether they want to get vaccinated.
"The vaccine doses will be administered on Thursday and will be offered to all those inside the bio-secure bubble. However, it will solely be the players and officials' decision if they want to get the vaccine shots,” a release from the PCB read.
The development was also confirmed by PCB chief executive Wasim Khan, who confirmed that the PCB had ‘acquired’ a few doses of the vaccine, which they will be offering to those inside the bubble in 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.”
Khan also added that the decision to offer vaccine shots to players and officials was taken ‘to provide an added level of protection and comfort’ amidst the mini virus outbreak in the tournament which, for a while, put the entire season in jeopardy.
"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,” Khan added.
The second phase of PSL 2021, set to kick-off on March 10, is scheduled to be played in Lahore, but the PCB are reportedly mulling playing the entire season in Karachi (the current venue) in order to avoid moving from one bubble to another.