Three Pakistani player test positive for Covid-19 ahead of England tour
“The PCB medical panel is in contact with the three players who have been advised to immediately go into self-isolation after being tested positive for COVID-19”, PCB said.
PCB in a statement said,” the players had shown no symptoms until they were tested in Rawalpindi on Sunday. The PCB medical panel is in contact with the three who have been advised to immediately go into self-isolation.”
Out of all three players, Leg spinner Shadab is the only established member of the team. Rauf has played only two T20 Internationals while highly-rated batsman Ali had received his maiden call-up for the England tour comprising three Tests and as many T20s.
All the squad members are being tested for Coronavirus ahead of the team’s departure on June 28.
Imad Wasim and Usman Shinwari also screened in Rawalpindi, have tested negative and as such, will travel to Lahore on 24 June.
Earlier, a Pakistan Cricket Board medical official, Dr. Sohail Saleem, also warned the team and said the upcoming tour of England during the raging pandemic is a big risk but one that is necessary to help the country get through the crisis.
“We haven’t experienced (playing during a pandemic), but for both teams it will be a first. The pandemic means risk, but consider them (players) as providing people entertainment,” Salim added.
The chances of other players contracting the virus is not something PCB should worry about since the team has not trained together. However, this has the potential to affect the future of the tour since Pakistan are due to arrive in the UK five weeks before the series starts in August. With cricket in England expected to be played in bio-secure environment, the players, upon their arrival will put up in a bubble, which means there will be no contact with anyone outside the players’ group.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has confirmed these are the only batch of results currently known, with those from the players and coaches barring Cliffe Deacon, Shoaib Malik and Waqar Younis, underwent tests who used the testing centres in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar not due to be published until Tuesday. Haris Sohail and Mohammad Amir have declined to tour.
It leaves the England and Wales Cricket Board waiting on further positives results that could derail the tour, wipe out their second helping of men’s international cricket this summer and cost an estimated £80m in broadcast revenue.
Pakistan will play three Tests and three T20Is during their tour of England. The final itinerary is expected to be announced later this week.
Earlier this month, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi and Taufeeq Umar also tested positive for the virus that has claimed more than 467,000 lives so far.