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‘My decision was overturned’: Dr Sohail on PSL bio-bubble breaches

He said that PCB forced him to resign from his role as head of medical department

‘My decision was overturned’: Dr Sohail on PSL bio-bubble breaches PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

The former head of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s Medical Department has opened up about the events which led to resignation, after working for more than 20 years.

While talking in an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, Saleem revealed that he didn’t resign willingly after the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season six fiasco.

“I did not resign, I was asked to do it. PCB said you have two options; either you resign or we sack you. I didn’t want to get sacked after 20 years of service, so I gave them my resignation,” said Saleem.

“To this day, I don’t know what the allegations against me were. I will not blame Wasim Khan [CEO] or any other person in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). They just did not like the work I was doing and that’s it,” he added.

He also talked about the work he did with regards to designing protocols for domestic and international events amid Covid-19 pandemic.

“People blame me for the PSL 6 fiasco but what they fail to realise that before that I successfully conducted six international series and the domestic season. At one point there were five events which were happening at the same time but everything went according to plan. Can you name any other country who was able to resume cricket in this manner,” he said. “I didn’t have any support from local sports bodies in Pakistan, with regards to rebooting sports in the country amid Covid-19 pandemic but still I designed the protocols, by working day and night, for the betterment of cricketers in the country.”

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Saleem also revealed that the technical committee’s decision on bio-bubble breaches during PSL 6 was overturned by the top-level management.

“There were bubble breaches during PSL 6 [birthday parties and meeting with families] and they were reported as well. I can assure you that we did everything we could to do [to prevent it],” he said.

“I was angry over the breach [by a franchise official at the start of PSL]. I was part of the committee which investigated the matter and I clearly said that when a law is made it is meant to be followed. Three out of four members of the committee backed my stance [isolating the individuals involved in the breach] but the decision was overturned at the upper level. It was their prerogative to continue the tournament as they were looking at the commercial side of things,” he added.

He also revealed that his downfall in PCB started before Pakistan’s tour of England last year.

“I said that it was risky to tour England, which was an accurate assessment considering the pandemic. But the word ‘risk’ was blown out of proportion and it seemed as if I had murdered 700-800 people. They should have seen the other side as well because it showed that we were still touring England, despite the risk, inorder to sustain cricket. That statement should have been taken positively but as it turned out, it was the start of my downfall,” he concluded.