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A 31-member Pakistan contingent, including 20 players, reached England on Sunday as six out of their 10 coronavirus-infected cricketers were held back despite returning negative when tested the second time. The Pakistan cricketers and 11 support staff members arrived on a chartered flight from Lahore and will be transported to Worcestershire. Coming out one by one, wearing masks, the Pakistani players and support staff members were seen maintaining distance.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has made arrangements for their testing before they go on a 14-day isolation period, during which they will be allowed to train. The side will move to Derbyshire on July 13 to prepare for their three-Test and three T20 international series against the home side in August-September.
The Testing Will Continue For The Pakistan Players
Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz have tested negative in their second tests but they would be sent to England only after two of their successive tests return negative. The six players will undergo a third round of testing at some stage next week. Players who have again tested positive are Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Kashif Bhatti and Imran Khan, along with masseur Malang Ali. Fast bowler Musa Khan and wicketkeeper-batsman Rohail Nazir, who were among the reserve players reached here along with the team.
The players who reached here on Sunday are Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam (vice-captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Iftikhar Ahmad, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Rohail Nazir, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, and Yasir Shah.
England To Play Against West Indies In The Series That Marks The Return Of Cricket
England are currently slated to face West Indies in the three-match Test series starting July 8 at the Ageas Bowl. Also, The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is contemplating relaxing their Covid-19 testing policy ahead of the tour of England. When the PCB agreed to the tour, they had announced a strict testing policy which meant that only players who twice tested negative for coronavirus would board the plane to England.
However, with 10 out of the 29 players selected for the tour testing positive for the virus earlier this week, a change in plans may be in the works. Dr Sohail Saleem, the head of PCB’s medical department, has been speaking to medical experts around the world in a bid to get different opinions on this issue.