Sri Lankan cricketers are not on a priority list for the COVID-19 vaccination, according to the health ministry sources. “No, they are not prioritised”, one of the sources, also attached with the sports ministry, said exclusively over the telephone.
Prof. Arjuna de Silva, the chairman of the medical panel of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLc) board when approached, said, “yes, if there is enough vaccine to go around, yes, it will be given to the players. But I believe that front line health care workers should be vaccinated before the players’.
“After the healthcare workers we can consider players. Healthcare workers come first then elderly cricketers will come lower down in priority”.
Incidentally, only two Sri Lankan cricketers (Binura Fernando and Chamika Karunaratne) tested positive for COVID-19 so far.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and the Indian cricket board, however, are considering arranging vaccination for their players. In fact, the BCB president Nazmul Hassan is also the chief executive of Beximco Pharmaceuticals, which has signed a deal to procure 30 million vaccine doses from India for the Bangladesh government.
“In Sri Lanka we do things differently. Vaccination must be earned, not bought”, Prof. de Silva said.