The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) faces a challenging task of providing a ‘bio-secure’ environment at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore for the training camps. The facility does not have the ability to facilitate 30 cricketers while simultaneously ensuring they are kept apart.
After a virus-free environment is established, allowing the players to go back home after each session would prove to be a dangerous element. The PCB will also need to take the government into confidence if lockdown policies are changed.
The PCB is currently preparing precautionary measures. The current SOP states that the players would get dressed in their respective rooms. They will be seated in an open space instead of their dressing room and social distancing will be enforced. The players will not be allowed to use someone else’s equipment. ALSO READ: Babar Azam is best suited to lead the team by example: Misbahul Haq
According to details, England is hopeful that the ‘bio-secure’ environment can pave the way for the return of cricket. West Indies and Pakistan have agreed to tour the country in July and August respectively. Both teams will arrive ahead of time and will be kept in quarantine.
Pakistan’s cricketers have expressed their willingness for the tour. 30 players have been gathered for training in Lahore for the purpose. 27 or 25 players are expected to be sent to England through a chartered flight. The players for the three Tests and the same number of Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) will be selected from the group. England has selected venues where the hotels are close to the ground so that travel can be restricted. However, the PCB currently faces the challenge of providing training according to the guidelines set by the International Cricket Council (ICC). A safe zone is being created in the NCA for the players.
The NCA however is equipped to host 16 players and 4 officials. 2 players will have to be kept in one room which goes against the established guidelines. If players are allowed to go to their respective homes, it could create further concerns. The players will also have to practice at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The ground will need to be disinfected in order to maintain the safety of the concerned players.
According to a source, the players and support staff will undertake tests for the Covid-19 followed by individual training sessions. The players will not be allowed to use saliva to shine the ball. The support staff will follow all the instructions to ensure the safety of all involved. They can be asked to use masks and gloves as well.—Agencies