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Cricket news - PCB announces parental leave policy for its cricketers

"Now that we have maternity leave policy, I am hopeful that it will attract more women and girls to take up the sport," - PCB CEO Wasim Khan.

"Now that we have maternity leave policy, I am hopeful that it will attract more women and girls to take up the sport," - PCB CEO Wasim Khan.

Pakistan Cricket Board on Tuesday (May 4) unveiled a new set of parental policies for its contracted cricketers including a fully paid 12-month maternity leave and a guaranteed contract extension for the following year for its women cricketers.

Under the newly introduced policies, women cricketers will also have the option to transfer to a non-playing role until commencement of their maternity leave leading upto the birth of their child.

Upon conclusion of the maternity leave, the player will be reintegrated into cricketing activities and provided adequate medical and physical support in respect of their post-childbirth rehabilitation. Similarly, if a woman player is required to travel for cricketing activities, the PCB will support the player by allowing her to travel with a support person of her choice to assist in caring for her infant child, with the travel and accommodation costs to be shared equally.

Meanwhile, expectant and new fathers, will be entitled to 30 days of paid paternity leave. "Under the newly introduced policy, women and men players have been granted various rights that they are respectively entitled to avail during the pregnancy and upon the birth of their child," a PCB release stated.

Commenting on the new policies, PCB CEO Wasim Khan said: "The PCB has a duty of care towards its cricketers and at every turn it has taken measures to support them. In this relation, it is appropriate that we have a player-friendly parental support policy so that our professional cricketers can feel fully supported during an important stage in their lives, without worrying about their careers.

"To have this policy for our women cricketers was even more significant. Women play a pivotal role in the development of a society and our women cricketers have brought us laurels and recognition at the world stage.

"Now that we have maternity leave policy, I am hopeful that it will attract more women and girls to take up the sport as this will help them strike the crucial work-life balance."

The current central contracts for the 2020-21 season are valid only for two more months but the new parental policies are effective immediately with Bismah Maroof, who recently took an indefinite maternity break, also eligible to avail the benefits of the policies.