The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has approached the England Cricket Board, seeking advice about creating a bio-secure environment for the forthcoming international series against Zimbabwe. England had hosted Pakistan in a bio-secure environment. The Zimbabwe team is scheduled to reach Pakistan on October 20 after which the Board is expected to schedule their T20 and ODI matches in Multan and Rawalpindi.
"These two venues are under consideration since both will be hosting the National T20 Championship in a bio-secure environment because of Covid-19 restrictions," a PCB source said. According to the source, the series against Zimbabwe is being taken very seriously by the Board as it will allow the PCB to invite other teams to Pakistan in the future even if the Covid-19 pandemic does not die down soon.
The PCB will also be hosting four remaining matches of the Pakistan Super League 5 in November in Lahore with the domestic season also in full swing from late September to February. The PCB after its national and A teams tour New Zealand in November-December is yet to decide whether to invite South Africa for a series before the PSL begins in February or to tour South Africa after the league ends in late March.
The PCB is also hopeful for future tours by New Zealand, Australia and England in the next 20 months.
The PCB has also asked around 240 players, officials, and other stakeholders, who will take part in the National T20 Championship later this month, to pay for their initial Covid-19 tests. The Board has made it mandatory for everyone appearing in the National event to return two negative Covid-19 tests before they are cleared to play in the tournament, starting September 30 in Rawalpindi and Multan. The Pakistan Cricket Board said it would pay for the second Covid-19 test.
"The initial test the players, officials, and stakeholders have to pay for themselves," a PCB source said.
The PCB has not specified any laboratory or hospital from where the players, officials and stakeholders must get their initial tests done. The Board has directed its players to submit their initial Covid-19 report to their manager or coach. The source said the Board has already started creating a comprehensive bio-secure environment at both venues to ensure the tournament goes smoothly. When the Pakistan team went to England with an entourage of around 42 people, the Board had paid for all the Covid-19 tests the players and team officials had to undergo before boarding the flight to the UK.