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Senior players, officials breach bio-secure protocols at National T20 Cup

Senior players, officials breach  bio-secure protocols at National T20 Cup

LAHORE: In a disturbing development on Friday, as many as 12 persons, including nine players and three officials of the ongoing National T20 Cup in Rawalpindi breached the bio-secure protocols in place for coronavirus pandemic, forcing the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to warn them all that they will be expelled from the said event in case of another violation.

“The PCB today insisted that it will not allow any player or official to put at risk the health and safety of other competitors and those breaching the bio-secure protocols in future will be sent packing from the tournament,” a press release issued by the PCB said on Friday.

Though the PCB did not disclose the names of the cricketers and officials who breached the protocols, Dawn learnt through reliable sources that senior players including Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, Fakhar Zaman, Yasir Shah, Khurram Manzoor, Sohail Khan, Anwar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq plus officials Abdul Razzaq, Basit Ali and Rashid Khan violated the protocols at their hotel in Rawalpindi.

Moreover, sources said former Pakistan batsman Basit was also unwell and had been taken to hospital by Rashid Khan. Basit was feeling high blood pressure. However, all 12 who breached the protocols were tested negative, sources further said.

Amid Covi-19 pandemic, the PCB has made a bio-secure bubble for safety and security of the players and officials.

Any other violation will result in expulsion from the event, warns PCB

Meanwhile, the PCB in the press release quoted PCB Director High Performance Nadeem Khan as saying: “The PCB is disturbed and disappointed that some senior players and officials have breached the bio-secure bubble during the National T20 Cup. In doing so, they have put at risk the integrity of the tournament and, health and safety of their colleagues.

“This is completely unacceptable to the PCB and following meetings with the concerned players and their team officials, it has been agreed there will be zero-tolerance for future breaches and those violating the protocols will be expelled from the ongoing and future tournaments.

“I expect the players and officials to show responsibility as the world is watching and international cricket is standing at our doorsteps. Their irresponsible actions can put into jeopardy all the efforts of the PCB in organising and inviting sides during these challenging Covid-19 times,” Nadeem added.

“Nine players and three officials had spent time out of the [bio-secure] bubble area within the vicinity of the team hotel. After this came to the attention of the event organisers following last evening’s [Thursday] match, Covid-19 tests were conducted on an urgent basis, which all turned negative.

“The 12 individuals picked up the costs of the tests, besides receiving warnings for their actions.”

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2020

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