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PCB's medical chief Dr Sohail Saleem submits resignation to chairman Mani after PSL postponement

·2-min read

Karachi, Mar 6 (PTI) Pakistan Cricket Board's head of medical panel, Dr Sohail Saleem has submitted his resignation to chairman Ehsan Mani following increasing criticism over the abrupt postponement of the Pakistan Super League 6 this week due to COVID-19 cases.

PSL was on Thursday postponed after six cricketers and one support staff member tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the cricket board to announce an inquiry into the fiasco.

A spokesman for the board confirmed that Dr Saleem has sent his resignation to the PCB chairman but no decision has been taken on its acceptance.

'The Chairman and concerned authorities will look at the resignation and take a decision,' he said.

A reliable source said that fingers were pointed at Dr Saleem soon after the board had to postpone the event as he was asked to supervise the bio-secure bubble arrangements for the teams in the PSL.

'It is clear that the top officials have lost confidence in Dr Saleem who has been working in the board for a long time and headed the Medical and Sports Sciences department,' he said.

The source said that with the PCB top officials feeling the heat due to the strong criticism from various quarters and also at questions being asked over the various loopholes in the bio-secure bubble it was apparent some heads will roll.

'No surprise the doctor has resigned. Because many loopholes in the bio-secure bubble for teams have now emerged which led to the seven positive Covid-19 cases during the league,' the source added.

Dr Saleem had travelled with the Pakistan squad to England and New Zealand and also remained attached with the team for the home series against Zimbabwe and South Africa as a bio-secure security officer.

He was sent to England and New Zealand to closely observe the COVID-19 protocols that were laid down by the hosts for the series.

The source said even Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is the patron-in-chief of the board, had conveyed his displeasure over the abrupt postponement of the league, which has dented Pakistan cricket's image.

The PCB top officials also held a meeting about the PSL in which it was decided that in whatever window the league is held now this year, the board will outsource the arrangements for creating a bio-secure bubble for the teams and officials to a foreign company.

It was also decided that whenever the remaining matches of the PSL are held, a hotel will be booked completely for only the teams and other stakeholders of the league and thirdly everyone will have to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine period before the start of the tournament.

The PCB has identified windows in May and September to host the remaining PSL games but nothing is final as yet as the board has to confirm the dates with the six franchises as well. PTI Cor ATK ATK