PSL 2021: PCB’s bio-bubble under scanner as Fawad Ahmed test positive for COVID-19

PSL 2021: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has invited criticism for not maintaining the sanctity of the bio-bubble protocols during the ongoing Pakistan Super League, where Australian player Fawad Ahmed tested positive for COVID-19, leading to the postponement of a match on Monday.

Many reports in the Pakistan media blamed PCB for the positive test incident which has cast a shadow on the league.

The Board, though, has made it clear the tournament would be completed on schedule by March 22.

The media questioned the PCB’s claim of implementing a strict bio-secure bubble for the team players and officials, their families and other stakeholders in the competition.

“Some families of players have even been allowed into the bio secure bubble without undergoing any mandatory quarantine period,” one report claimed.

“There are also regular events and dinners being held at the team hotel while some players are even ordering food from outside,” another report claimed.

The ‘Express’ newspaper also noted that while the teams were supposed to be in a bubble but when the players came to the ground for matches, the groundsmen and other essential staff at the stadium were not in a bubble and went to their homes everyday.

The media has also had a field day questioning the PCB’s decision to allow Pakistan speedster Wahab Riaz and West Indies’ Darren Sammy to play the first match of the PSL for their team Peshawar Zalmi after they breached the COVID-19 protocol.

Both the players had shaken hands and hugged their team owner, Javed Afridi, which was a breach of the COVID-19 protocols of the Board.

The incident happened during a training session on the outer grounds of the National Stadium before the PSL began .

Initially the Board put both of them in a three-day isolation and made it clear they would only play for their franchise after completing the isolation period and undergoing two negative tests but apparently after a threat by the team management and owner to boycott the tournament on the eve of their first match, the PCB changed its decision and allowed them to go to the ground.

Wahab even led the Peshawar team.

A PCB official, involved in the implementation of the protocols, asserted the Board was doing its best in the given circumstances.

He said the board was also spending a lot of money on maintaining the bio-secure bubble and having regular tests of the stakeholders.

“We have a strict bio secure bubble for all teams and we have regular testing and we have now even made it mandatory for all players and officials to have PCR tests every four days. But the fact is how Fawad Ahmed tested positive we don’t know because no one can say for certain how he contracted the virus,” he said.