The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has copped criticism for not maintaining the security of their bio-secure bubble after Australian player Fawad Ahmed tested positive for COVID-19 amid the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL). The positive COVID-19 case has lead to the postponement of the match between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators. Alongside Fawad Ahmed, another overseas player contracted the virus too.
Several reports in Pakistan media blamed the PCB for the positive test incident, casting a shadow on the league. The media questioned PCB’s claim of keeping a strict bio-secure environment for the players and officials, their families and the other stakeholders involved in the tournament.
The ‘Express’ Newspaper disclosed that while the teams had to be in the bubble but when players came to the ground for matches, the groundsmen and other staff were not within it and visited their homes every day. The media also scrutinised the decision to allow Wahab Riaz and Darren Sammy play the first game of their PSL for Peshawar Zalmi despite breaking the protocols.
Both reportedly shook hands and hugged the team owner, Javed Afridi, which was furthermore a rule breach. One report claimed that some players’ families entered the bio-secure bubble without undergoing the mandatory isolation period. Furthermore, regular dinners and events occur at the team hotel while certain players also order food from outside.
“Some families of players have even been allowed into the biosecure bubble without undergoing any mandatory quarantine period. There are also regular events and dinners being held at the team hotel while some players are even ordering food from outside,” he added.
We don’t know how Fawad Ahmed contracted the virus: PCB official
A PCB official claimed that they spent plenty of money on building the bio-secure environment along with maintaining a strict testing process for all the teams, making it compulsory for all players and officials to have PCR tests every four days. Nevertheless, it remains difficult for them to decode how Fawad Ahmed tested positive for COVID-19.
“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,” the official said as quoted by Hindustan Times.