Panel named to review HBL PSL 2021 bio-secure protocols

By our correspondent

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board PCB) on Sunday unveiled a two-member fact-finding panel which will review the bio-secure protocols which had been put in place by the organisers for the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021.

The league was recently postponed after a handful of players and officials returned Covid positive.

“Distinguished infectious disease experts Dr Syed Faisal Mahmood and Dr Salma Muhammad Abbas have been appointed as independent members of the two-person fact-finding panel that will review the bio-secure protocols as well as the bylaws that were put in place during the HBL Pakistan Super League 6,” the PCB said.

Dr Syed Faisal Mahmood is an Associate Professor, Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, The Aga Khan University, while Dr Salma Muhammad Abbas is a Consultant Infectious Diseases and General Medicine with the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Lahore.

“The independent panel will submit its findings and recommendations to PCB Chairman Mr Ehsan Mani by March 31,” the Board added.

“The independent panel has been tasked to carry-out a holistic and detailed review of the Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures for the HBL Pakistan Super League 6, identify any gaps and advise as to the reasons why the bio-secure environment did not remain Covid-free,” the Board said.

Meanwhile the PCB chairman Ehsan Mani reiterated that the Board takes seriously the health and safety issues of all involved in an event.

“The PCB takes the health and safety of its players, player support personnel and match officials seriously. We have demonstrated our duty of care in the international series against Zimbabwe and South Africa, as well as during the nine domestic events in which we successfully staged 220 matches. This included the 34-match National T20 Cup in Multan and Rawalpindi as well as the first and second elevens Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and the Pakistan Cup in Karachi,” he said.

“The independent panel of two distinguished experts has been appointed with the sole purpose of an honest, constructive and objective review,” he said.

“The independent panel will speak with all the relevant stakeholders, including the event and hotel staff, medical and compliance officers, team players and managements, so that we can get a better understanding how the cases occurred,” Mani said. “The independent panel will make such recommendations as it considers appropriate.”

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