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Thursday December 08, 2022

Alarm bells ringing at PCB as Omicron starts spreading in country ahead of PSL-7

A day earlier, the National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, had said that 75 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant were reported in Pakistan

By Web Desk
December 30, 2021
Alarm bells ringing at PCB as Omicron starts spreading in country ahead of PSL-7

KARACHI: The rising number of coronavirus cases of the Omicron variant has set alarm bells ringing at the Pakistan Cricket Board ahead of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season seven scheduled to start from January 27.

A day earlier, the National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, had said that 75 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant were reported in Pakistan, including 33 in Karachi where the first case was reported on December 13, 2021 while Lahore reported 13.

The bio-security of the league has become the biggest challenge for the body, Daily Express reported, quoting well-placed sources.

The PCB high officials have agreed to hire the services of a foreign company for bio-security arraignments of the event to prevent the players and the officials from the new strain of the virus. The firm will be given complete powers to implement the SOPs.

The cricket body has decided that strict action will be taken against those players who will violate the rules. The PCB had already announced to book an entire hotel for participants of the league. Different zones will be formed in the hotel for the players and officials and no irrelevant individual will be allowed to enter the zones.

It is suggested that the hotel staff will also be made part of the bio-secure bubble. They will not be allowed to go outside during the event.

The proposal to quarantine foreign cricketers for more days is also under consideration, the sources added. It was decided that the stadium will be available to fans at 100% seating capacity to watch the PSL-7 matches, however, the final decision in this regard will be taken after consultation with the NCOC.

No plan B has been formulated yet if the authorities have to stop the matches in Pakistan for any reason, revealed a franchise official.

It is pertinent to mention here that PSL-6 had been stopped in the middle due to COVID-19 in Karachi in March and the remaining matches of the league were played in Abu Dhabi. Earlier, PSL-5 had also been postponed due to the COVID-19.