PCB names 20-player squad for England tour after coronavirus screening
LAHORE – The Pakistan Cricket Board on Saturday confirmed 20 players and 11 player support personnel will travel on a chartered flight to Manchester on Sunday morning for a three-Test and three T20I series to be played in August and September.
Upon arrival in Manchester, the squad will be transported to Worcestershire where they will undergo the England and Wales Cricket Board testing before completing their 14-day isolation period, during which they will be allowed to train and practice. The side will move to Derbyshire on 13 July.
In a positive news, all 18 players and 11 player support personnel, who had tested negative for Covid-19 in the first round of tests on Monday, have again returned negative in Thursday’s retests.
Besides the 29 members, tests of fast bowler Musa Khan and Pakistan U19 captain and wicketkeeper Rohail Nazir, along with three other reserve players, were also conducted on Thursday and they have also returned negative.
As such, Musa and Rohail have been included in the first group of travellers, which is:
Players – 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. Zafar Gohar, the left-arm spinner who played an ODI in 2015, will join the side from England and will only be involved in pre-match preparations.
Player support personnel – Mansoor Rana (manager), Misbah-ul-Haq (head coach), Younis Khan (batting coach), Mushtaq Ahmed (spin bowling coach), Shahid Aslam (assistant coach), Abdul Majeed (fielding coach), Talha Butt (team analyst), Yasir Malik (strength and conditioning coach), Dr Sohail Saleem (team doctor), Lt Col (retd) Usman Riffat (security manager) and Raza Kitchlew (media and digital content manager).
Cliffe Deacon and Waqar Younis will join the side directly from South Africa and Australia, respectively, while Shoaib Malik is expected to travel around 24 July.
Following advice from leading sports science experts and as per the UK government regulations, players who have tested positive during the PCB testing process will be unable to travel on Sunday.
However, they will be sent to England as soon as their two tests return negative.
Amongst the four reserves players, who were tested on Wednesday, only Imran Butt has tested positive, while the tests of Bilal Asif, Mohammad Nawaz and Musa Khan were negative.
Out of the 10 players and one official, who had earlier tested positive during the PCB testing programme, six players have tested negative in the retests. They are: Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz.
Players who have again tested positive are: Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Kashif Bhatti and Imran Khan, along with Malang Ali (masseur).
The six players who have now tested negative will undergo third round of testing at some stage next week and if their tests remain negative, then the PCB will make arrangements to send them to England.
The five players and the masseur, who have are positive, have been advised by the PCB medical panel to observe strict quarantine to protect their families and friends from the contagion. As in the past, the PCB medical panel will provide them complete support and continue to monitor their progress. These players will undergo tests following the completion of the quarantine period and will be sent to England following two negative tests.
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