PCB announces first-phase completion of Covid-19 vaccination

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Lahore: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) today announced the completion of first phase of Covid-19 vaccinations for country’s leading cricketers across all three formats and support staff.

The drive was made possible in collaboration with Pakistan government’s National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

“The PCB takes pride in being one of the first cricket boards in the world to provide a robust vaccination programme to ensure the health and safety of its players and support staff in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,” PCB said in a press release.

In the first phase, 57 men players, 13 officials of the men’s team and 13 NHPC men and women coaches were vaccinated.

Read: Hockey players start receiving COVID-19 vaccine in Karachi

A number of franchise players and support staff besides PCB match officials involved in the February-March phase of the Pakistan Super League (three match referees, three umpires) were also vaccinated.

The vaccination drive started on 4 March in Karachi and carried on for more than two months, before its conclusion on 6 May when eight players – part of Pakistan’s squad for the ongoing Test series against Zimbabwe – were given second doses in Harare.

In the next phase, remaining domestic men cricketers, national women cricketers, age-group cricketers and support staff of the domestic, national women and age-group teams will be vaccinated. The second-phase is expected to commence shortly.

PCB Chief Operating Officer Salman Naseer: “The PCB has a duty of care towards its cricketers, especially in the ongoing pandemic, and keeping that in mind we requested the NCOC for vaccines during the HBL Pakistan Super League 6. The vaccination drive started in Karachi and our first priority was to get the players and support staff involved in the tournament vaccinated.

“After the initial round of vaccination in Karachi, we focused on getting the remaining members of the men’s squad, who were not involved in the HBL PSL 6, vaccinated before the tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe.

“We remain grateful to the NCOC for recognising the importance of vaccines for our players and prioritising them for national interest as both players and support staff are constantly traveling for domestic and international cricket commitments and carry infection risks especially once outside the bio-secure bubbles.

“The PCB is fully behind the government’s vaccination drive and once again urges people across Pakistan to get vaccinated in order to ensure the health and safety of their own selves and their families.

“Our players – both men and women – and PCB management will continue to provide full support and backing to the NCOC vaccine awareness initiatives as they have done repeatedly since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.”

Also read: PSL 6: Players, officials start receiving COVID-19 vaccine doses

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