Pakistan Cricket Board warns players to obey virus protocols

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Pakistan Cricket Board warned players and team officials Friday to obey bio-secure protocols after nine cricketers and three team officials breached the rules during the on-going National Twenty20 Cup in Rawalpindi.

The nine cricketers included at least three players who have represented Pakistan in international matches. They underwent COVID-19 tests on Thursday and all were negative.

The PCB said all 12 individuals who violated the bio-secure bubble paid the costs of the COVID-19 tests.

“The PCB is disturbed and disappointed that some senior players and officials have breached the bio-secure bubble during the National T20 Cup. In doing so, they have put at risk the integrity of the tournament and health and safety of their colleagues,” PCB director of high performance Nadeem Khan said in a statement.

Several international cricketers, including Pakistan Twenty20 skipper Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik and Imam-ul-Haq, are participating in the six-team event in Rawalpindi.

“There will be zero-tolerance for future breaches and those violating the protocols will be expelled from the ongoing and future tournaments,” Khan said.

Pakistan is scheduled to host Zimbabwe this month for ODIs and Twenty20s, with Rawalpindi hosting the ODIs from Oct. 30.

“I expect the players and officials to show responsibility as the world is watching and international cricket is standing at our doorsteps,” Khan said. “Their (players and team officials) irresponsible actions can put into jeopardy all the efforts of the PCB in organizing and inviting sides during these challenging COVID-19 times.”


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