LAHORE: The Pakistan Sports Complex in Islamabad has been closed down after four of its employees tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday.

The news is not a good one for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) which is aiming to hold a training camp of Pakistan cricket team for its tour of England, scheduled in late July and August. The camp is to commence before June 10.

When contacted, a spokesman of the Pakistan Spots Board (PSB) confirmed the news that the entire complex in which the PSB’s offices and hostels, gymnasium and grounds are situated have been closed down after four employees tested positive.

“Federal Sports Minister Fehmida Mirza was to hold a tele-conference with all four provincial sports ministers besides representatives from Azad Kashmir and Gilgat Baltistan on Thursday. But the programme has already been in jeopardy after the advisor on sports to Balochistan Government had tested positive and has since been shifted to a Karachi hospital for treatment,” the spokesman said.

The tele-conference was to be held to review the current situation and to draw up a plan on how to resume the sports activities in the country. But the current situation, after the closure of the Pakistan Sports Complex, has totally changed and it seems that the sports community will have to wait for an indefinite period again for the resumption of the sports activities.

PCB’s plans to hold camp for England tour in jeopardy

The sports community is one of the key segment of the society which has been hit very hard due to the lock down in the backlash of the pandemic.

As for the PCB’s plans for the camp, though its medical panel has been busy for the last 20 days to prepare a policy for bio-secure environment, it is yet to come outwith any announcement. The PCB also has to seek the permission of the Punjab government for holding the training camp after presenting the bio-secure policy about the camp, which now seems difficult as the number of the coronavirus affected people is being increased with every passing day.

The PCB has worked out a definite plan to send a 25-member squad for the tour of England where it will play three Tests and as many T20I matches. But so far chief selector/head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has not announced the probables for the training camp.

There are reports that Misbah has finalised the names of probables but holding it back until getting a clear report about the bio-secure environment for the training camp. It appears that the present situation may force the PCB to hold the training camp in England, but since the pandemic has hit U.K severely as well, it may prove to be a risky decision.

Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2020