By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) has taken another step to ensure that the domestic game returns to normalcy after making arrangements for its staff and players to be vaccinated for Covid-19.
Cricket is one of the disciplines which given the green light by the government, through the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to resume strict Covid-19 prevention safety guidelines.
Now in another positive step, some ZC employees willingly received the Covid-19 jab at the weekend after the organisation heeded the call by the government for all citizens to get vaccinated.
ZC chief medical officer, Solomon Madzogo said they had taken the initiative to have everyone inoculated in line with the national vaccination agenda.
“We as ZC have taken this initiative to have everybody vaccinated – voluntarily of course – in accordance with the national vaccination programme. When the vaccination programme was rolled out, initially it began with the frontline healthcare workers, but it has now cascaded down to anybody who is willing to be vaccinated,” Madzogo said.
He stated that they had taken this step since vaccination has benefits, which include reduced risk of infection.
“So we have taken it upon ourselves to get vaccinated because of the benefits which include reduced risk of infection, reduced risk of severe disease, reduced risk of death itself and reduced risk of transmission of the virus to other people,’’ he said.
He added: “This is beneficial to not only ZC as an organisation but effectively protects their families as well. After the staff and players, we will go a step further in organising vaccination for spouses and family members as no one should be left behind.”
The vaccination of players and members of staff at ZC comes after the local cricket governing body became the first sporting organisation in Zimbabwe to organise international cricket events since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.
ZC hosted the Pakistan women’s team visiting in February while their men’s side will be arriving in the country this coming weekend for a month-long tour.
Locally, ZC has successfully staged the National Premier League, the Women’s Fifty50 Challenge, the Women’s T20 Cup as well as regional games.
The first-class competition, the Logan Cup, was recently completed, while the men’s T20 tournament got underway this weekend.
The domestic competitions have been played in a bio-secure bubble to minimise the risk of players and support staff contracting Covid-19.
The bubble covers team accommodation facilities, transport as well as practice and match venues. Players, match officials and support staff have to be tested for the Covid-19 before they can check into strictly controlled accommodation facilities.
Accordingly, all those in the bubble are not permitted to have access to families, visitors, friends and relatives for the duration of the seclusion period.
Besides being expected to strictly adhere to all Covid-19 protocols such as decontamination and social distancing, all individuals within the bubble are monitored daily through temperature and symptom checks.
Madzogo said although ZC had successfully implemented the bubble concept, it was important for all involved in the game to get vaccinated.
“While cricket is considered to be a mild to moderate-risk sport, a lot of movement and contact is involved in the game and whether we go by way of bio-secure bubbles or observing COVID-19 protocols, the risk is still there,” he said.