The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday launched a new parental support policy under which both male and female players are entitled to paid leaves during pregnancy and upon the birth of a child.

Under the policy, women cricketers will get up to a year of paid leave and will also have the option 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,” PCB said in a media release.

“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,” it added.

If a woman player is required to travel for cricketing activities, the PCB said it 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.

As part of the paternity rights covered under the policy, male players are allowed 30 days 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 CEO Wasim Khan said the board “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,” he added.