‘I don’t think the series is in doubt’: England team director Ashley Giles confident Pakistan Test series will go ahead despite THREE of tourists’ stars testing positive for coronavirus
- England’s proposed Test series with Pakistan was thrown into doubt on Monday
- Pakistan trio Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf and Haider Ali recorded positive tests
- They must now self-isolate for a fortnight before undergoing further testing
- Second set of results will follow and more positives will throw plans into chaos
- However, Ashley Giles moved to ease any concerns regarding the Test series
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
England are confident their Test series against Pakistan will go ahead despite the spike of the coronavirus in the sub-continent that has already seen three players test positive.
The proposed second Test series of the summer was thrown into doubt on Monday when leg-spinner Shadab Khan, fast bowler Haris Rauf and uncapped batsman Haider Ali, who are all said not to be displaying any symptoms, recorded positive tests and must now self-isolate for a fortnight before undergoing further testing.
A second set of results will be revealed by Pakistan on Tuesday and more positives will throw the ECB’s plans into chaos, with a charter flight due to leave Lahore for Manchester on Sunday and the first of three Tests due for early August.
England are hopeful that their Test series against Pakistan will still go ahead this summer
Shadab Khan was one three Pakistan squad members confirmed to have tested positive
But Ashley Giles, the England team director, moved to ease any concerns about Pakistan being able to follow West Indies in playing Test cricket this summer at the two bio-secure venues of the Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford when he said: ‘It’s a concern, mostly for the welfare of the players who have tested positive, but at the moment I don’t think the series is in doubt.
‘We’re far enough away from the Test series to not worry about that too much at the moment. There are some more tests results coming out later from the rest of the group so we’ll see what they say but we’re hopeful that the Pakistan team will be arriving in the country soon.’
But the former England spinner admitted nothing could be guaranteed on the day England’s 30-man training group will head to Southampton to live and train ahead of the first Test against West Indies on July 8.
Pakistan will reveal a second batch of results and more positives will throw plans into chaos
‘All of this is uncertain still, even the West Indies series, because we know how fast moving this situation has been around the world,’ said Giles. ‘We’ve been very careful at every step but do we really know what’s round the corner? No. That’s why we’re trying to create environments at the Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford that mitigate enough risk as we possibly can.
‘The situation in Pakistan is not great at the moment and our thoughts go out to the whole country but clearly it’s important we get those guys into the country and we can get on with that series. But, first things first, the West Indies is ahead of us, we go into the bubble today and we’re excited about that.
‘There are a number of hurdles to cross and we are waiting on those other test results but we are far enough out if a number of those results are positive. This is the difference with international sport. We need to get our opposition into the country. Anything that puts that at risk is clearly a problem and it’s such a far reaching issue. It’s a global situation affecting everyone and there are far more important things going on than sport. If we can get international sport on it will be a fillip for so many people around the world.’
England team director Ashley Giles moved to ease any concerns regarding the Pakistan series