In a recent development, Pakistani cricketers Fakhar Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan and Wahab Riaz have all tested positive for the dreaded coronavirus. The confirmation comes after three other cricketers from the country- Shadab Khan, Haider Ali and Haris Rauf had tested positive on Monday.
It is also being reported that a member of the support staff has also been infected with COVID-19. Pakistan had earlier announced a 29 member squad for the tour to England involving three tests and as many as T20Is. However, the number of corona positive cases has put serious doubts over their availability.
The Board, however, claims that the series will happen as per the original schedule. The Pakistan team is to travel to England on 28 June for a full tour.
Also read: Shahid Afridi tests positive for 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 Pakistan board said in a statement.
PCB also said that players and player support personnel, who have tested negative, will assemble in a bio-secure environment in Lahore on 24 June and will undergo second round of testing on 25 June.
“The recent positive tests of some of the fittest athletes, who had not shown any symptoms, clearly reflect the danger this virus possesses,” PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said in a statement.
Earlier on 13 June, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi had also tested positive for COVID-19. Days after testing positive for the virus Afridi gave update on his health and told fans that he was feeling better after 2-3 days of struggle.
Veteran Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik who has been granted permission to join the team late has not been tested yet along with Cliffe Deacon and Waqar Younis.
The players tested positive have not been ruled out of the England tour either and once they recover they are expected to travel with the team and get tested yet again in the United Kingdom (UK).
Pakistan will play the first Test at Lord’s before going to Manchester and Nottingham for the next couple of Test matches. Leeds, Cardiff and Southampton are the venues for the three T20Is.
Cricket is returning after the coronavirus hiatus with England-West Indies series, which will be played in a bio secure environement from 8 July.