PCB won’t force players to tour England amid Covid-19

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Lahore

PCB Chief Executive Officer, Wasim Khan said on Monday that the tour of England is dependent on the Covid-19 situation in England as the PCB will not make any compromise on health and safety of its players. Speaking to media here on Monday Wasim Khan added that the Board was in constant communication with the England and Wales Cricket Board and a conference call to discuss the tour has been set-up for Friday, 15 May.
‘The call will be attended by ECB’s Chief Executive, Director Cricket, Chief Medical Officer and Director International Cricket Operations. I will be representing the PCB along with Misbah-ul-Haq, Zakir Khan and Dr Sohail Saleem. At this stage we will be discussing various options while a decision on the tour is expected to be made in June.’
On a question of the proposed tours of England and Australia Wasim Khan said that the next 12 months are very important, if MCC can travel to Pakistan, there is no reason England and Australia can’t. The two teams are expected to come to Pakistan in the 2021-22 season. On the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the UK Wasim Khan elaborated that the situation was pretty bad but the ECB are focused on providing a bio-secure environment for the series against Pakistan. ‘The PCB will evaluate the players’ travel and accommodation plan that will be shared by the ECB. Speculations are rife that the tour would be converted to a four or five match Test series but it will be premature to make a commitment about that at this stage, there will be more clarity after the conference call.
‘In England, the most important aspect would be the health of the players since the longer they stay there, the more they will be exposed.’ Wasim Khan also spoke about the importance of the next 12 months as the cricket community needed to come together and support each other in the prevailing global crisis. ‘PCB is equipped to deal with the situation for the next one year but if the situation persists for 18 months, the Board would have to review the situation and make decisions; however we are confident cricket will resume by then,’ he added.
On the Central Contracts for national men’s players, Wasim Khan said the contract will be announced on Tuesday 12 May. —APP

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