Leading women in cricket have lauded the Pakistan Cricket Board after it announced its Parental Support Policy aimed at motivating and championing professional cricketers on their journey to parenthood – throughout pregnancy and after childbirth when they return to play and are required to balance parental responsibilities with the demands of their cricketing career.
Seasoned cricket broadcaster, Mel Jones, led the positive comments on social media, saying: “Moves like this for squad members in both the women’s and men’s PCB program are so positively impactful to cricket, sport, society. Congratulations to all involved.”
Leading Pakistan cricket anchor, Zainab Abbas tweeted: “What a wonderful initiative by the PCB – not only does this provide job security and an incentive for our girls continue playing but it’s also a great gesture of support in a time that is a challenging one for any women, great to see paternity leave support as well.”
Australian Cricket Hall of Famer, Lisa Sthalekar, said: “This is great news for all Pakistan cricketers but is huge for female players. Hopefully it means they aren’t lost to the game after starting a family. Well done PCB”
Under the newly introduced policy, women and men players have been granted various rights, including the option for women cricketers to transfer to a non-playing role until commencement of their maternity leave leading up to the birth of their child.
Women cricketers are also entitled to take up to 12 months of paid maternity leave and will be guaranteed a contract extension for the following year, in line with their existing contractual arrangements as the PCB believes that a player’s right to pursue the game on a professional level should not be limited because of their pregnancy or responsibilities as a new parent.
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.
Men cricketers, who are expectant or new fathers, will also be entitled to up to 30 days of fully paid leave, which will need to be taken within 56 days of the birth of their child, as part of the paternity rights covered under the Policy.
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan: “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.”
Photo 1 Caption: Leading women in cricket have lauded the Pakistan Cricket Board after it announced its Parental Support Policy aimed at motivating and championing professional cricketers on their journey to parenthood – throughout pregnancy and after childbirth when they return to play and are required to balance parental responsibilities with the demands of their cricketing career. Photo: Pakistan Cricket / Twitter