Pakistan’s tour of England now looks in serious trouble as seven more cricketers are reported positive in COVID-19. Earlier three cricketers found infected with the deadly virus. Pakistan had selected a 29 member squad that is scheduled to fly to England later this month. Now the question is that out of 29 members 10 have contracted coronavirus. Will it be safe or feasible for them to go on the England tour? Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has not said anything in this regard. As per information released by PCB on Tuesday, the seven cricketers who are found positive in COVID-19 are Fakhar Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, and Wahab Riaz. Apart from that team masseuse Malang Ali also infected with the novel coronavirus.
“The PCB medical panel is already in contact with these players and the masseur, who have been instructed to observe strict quarantine at their homes for their and their families’ wellbeing,” the board said in a release.
However, Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Iftikhar Ahmad, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, and Yasir Shah’s test result is negative.
As per a report published in Cricbuzz, Pakistani cricketers will be tested again on 24th June in Lahore. Those who clear the test will depart for England on June 28. They will have to spend 15 days quarantine period. After that, they will practice in a bio-secure environment arranged by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
Despite ten players infected with COVID-19, PCB looks confident for the England tour. “The tour to England is very much on track and the side will depart as per schedule,” PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said as quoted by Cricbuzz. “Fortunately, all the first-choice red-ball squad, barring Mohammad Rizwan, are negative, which means they can start training and practicing immediately after they have been tested and given the all-clear when they arrive in England. In the meantime, Misbah-ul-Haq is reviewing the training schedule in England and is firming up plans for reserve players to be tested as a backup,” he added.
Pakistan will play three Tests and the same number of T20I in England.