PSL 2022: Players to stay under stringent bio-bubble protocols, no family members allowed
The players will start to arrive in Karachi on January 20 and will be allowed to start training after a three-day hard quarantine.
Updated - Jan 13, 2022 12:10 pm
The players participating in the seventh edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) will have to do so while staying under a highly controlled environment and stringent bio-bubble after the previous two editions were disrupted by Covid-19 outbreaks.
Learning the lesson this time, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has come up with contingency plans in case such a situation arises again, not unlikely in the current time when various parts of the world are witnessing a sudden upsurge in Covid caseload and the emergence of new variants.
In the same light, the league in its most recent edition will maintain a bubble within the respective team bio-bubbles where no one apart from the players of the particular franchise would be allowed to enter.
The league is set to be played at two camps as the action will move from Karachi, which will host the first 15 fixtures, to Lahore, where the remaining 15 league games and four playoffs are scheduled. A Karachi facility has been booked by the PCB for the first leg of the tournament but it also includes a special wing dedicated for PSL in Lahore as the board could not occupy any facility in the city separately.
Furthermore, unlike the previous editions, in 2022, the hotel staff will also be a part of the PSL bubble to prevent and mitigate the chances of exposure, while the players will have separate lifts and dining areas. The players will start to arrive in Karachi on January 20 and will be allowed to start training after a three-day hard quarantine.
Matches to go ahead if team has 13 uninfected players
As per the agreement signed in a meeting between the team representatives and PCB, the players’ families cannot accompany them. Further, in case of any Covid-19 outbreak, the entire hotel floor will undergo RT-PCR tests, while the teams will undergo rapid-antigen tests every day, and PCR tests will be carried out once every two to three days.
The PCB has confirmed that the matches will go ahead in case a team has 13 fit, uninfected members to field. However, as a backup plan, the board has decided to form a separate 25-player pool of local talents, none of whom were picked in the main and supplementary drafts, and keep them in a bio-secure environment in proximity to the hotel where all teams will stay.
The move is understandably an insurance against any significant Covid-19 outbreak that incapacitates a team from fielding an XI as they will be permitted to draft in players from the said pool of players.
It has also been decided that in case of a major outbreak, the league will be halted for a week and following its resumption, the number of fixtures per day will be doubled to ensure the conclusion of the tournament within the scheduled time.