England tour in limbo as 7 more Pakistan players contract coronavirus

07:16 PM | 23 Jun, 2020
England tour in limbo as 7 more Pakistan players contract coronavirus
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LAHORE – Number of infected Pakistan cricket team players reached ten after seven more tested positive for coronavirus, said Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday.

The cricket body confirmed that a further seven players and a player support personnel from a total of 35 have tested positive for Covid-19.

The PCB had organised these 35 tests in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar on Monday.

Fakhar Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan and Wahab Riaz have contracted the virus.

“Player who have tested negative are: 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.”

Player Support Personnel, who has tested positive, is: Malang Ali (masseur)

Shoaib Malik, Cliffe Deacon and Waqar Younis are yet to be tested.

On Monday, Imad Wasim and Usman Shinwari had tested negative, while the results of Haider Ali, Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan were positive.

Like Haider, Haris and Shadab none of the seven players and masseur had reported any prior symptoms of Covid-19 until they underwent first round of testing on Monday ahead of the side’s departure for Manchester.

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.

Next steps are:

The 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 players and player support personnel, who will test negative on 25 June, will depart for Manchester on a chartered flight. Within 24 after hours after arriving in the UK, they will be tested by the ECB medical panel

The players and player support personnel, who will test negative upon arrival in the UK, will observe a quarantine period as per the UK government’s regulations, but will be allowed to train and practice in a bio-secure facility

The players and player support personnel, who have tested positive in pre-departure testing, will observe self-isolation in their homes and remain under strict monitoring of the PCB medical panel

As soon as they will complete their minimum quarantine period, they will undergo further testing and after their two tests are negative, they will be flown to England on a commercial airline

Upon arrival in the UK, they will be tested again by the ECB medical panel and will be allowed to integrate with the Pakistan men’s national squad after they test negative

According to series SOPs, the Pakistan men’s national cricket team will undergo, at least, five tests in the lead up to the first test

PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan: “The recent positive tests of some of the fittest athletes, who had not shown any symptoms, clearly reflect the danger this virus possesses. As such, and on behalf of the PCB, I once again request the public to strictly adhere to all safety precautions as advised and recommended by the federal and provincial governments to ensure their health and safety as well as of their dear and near ones.

“As regards the players, who have tested positive, we will continue to monitor and support them, including conducting antibody tests, and as soon as they test negative, they will be flown to join the squad in England. At the moment, they have been advised to go into self-isolation so that they not only recover quickly but also prevent their other family members from being infected.

“The tour to England is very much on track and the side will depart as per schedule on 28 June. 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.”