PCB announce phased approach to resumption of cricket activities

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Pakistan players during a training session. © PCB

The Pakistan Cricket Board announced the return of cricket activities across the country through a "gradual, careful and phase-wise" process, on Thursday (September 3).

Keeping in mind health and safety of players, the PCB have opened up the use of the National High Performance Centre (NHPC) to current Pakistan players only. Players who have represented Pakistan over the last 12 months, those undergoing rehabilitation, and former players who are involved in the day-to-day operations of the PCB will be given access to the facilities as well. All players and staff will be required to observe the strict protocols laid out by the board's medical and sports science department.

Players wanting to avail the NHPC facilities will have to book their time slots in advance. This is to make sure standard social distancing protocols are observed, and equipment is sterilised in between sessions to avoid multiple use of equipment.

Helpers or assistants will not be allowed, while net bowlers need to be nominated and pre-approved by the NHPC authority.

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As per ICC playing conditions, players will not be allowed to use saliva to shine the ball during practice sessions. They will be required to wear masks when entering the NHPC, undergo a temperature check, and also have to walk through disinfection gates before being allowed to access the training facilities.

“It was important that we produced these protocols so that our elite players can prepare for the upcoming season in the best possible and safest environment," said Nadeem Khan, PCB's high performance director. "I want to thank our medical team for preparing comprehensive protocols, which, we are confident, will ensure safety and security for the players.

“This is an unprecedented situation which continues to evolve. We are committed to monitoring the situation, while broadening our scope and opening doors for more players on the circuit as we move ahead.”

Recreational cricket can also resume with strict adherence to government issues protocols, a release from the PCB stated. Additionally, men's domestic cricket will resume on September 30, while there is still no news about the resumption of women's cricket in Pakistan.