Pakistan’s tour of England in doubt after THREE members of squad test positive for coronavirus
- Three of Pakistan’s squad for England tour have tested positive for Covid-19
- Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf and Haider Ali are three players confirmed as positive
- If more members of 29-man squad confirmed, the tour could be cancelled
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Pakistan’s tour of England is under threat after three of their players tested positive for Covid-19.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan, fast bowler Haris Rauf and uncapped batsman Haider Ali, who are all said not to be displaying any symptoms, must now self-isolate for a fortnight before undergoing further testing.
But if more members of Pakistan’s 29-man squad for the visit to England – comprising three Tests in August and three Twenty20 internationals – are diagnosed with the virus today [Tuesday], there is a danger the tour could be called off altogether, leaving the ECB in desperate straits as they attempt to mitigate financial losses during the pandemic.
Three of Pakistan’s squad due to tour England this summer have tested positive for Covid-19
One source said last night: ‘We’ll be monitoring the situation closely.’
The Pakistan touring party – minus all-rounder Shoaib Malik, who is being allowed to spend more time with his family before arriving in the UK – are due to fly from Lahore to Manchester on Sunday on a flight chartered by the ECB.
They are now waiting to see how the situation in Pakistan unfolds, but it is a concern that the three positive tests came from a group of only five cricketers based in Rawalpindi.
The whole squad, plus the backroom staff, were tested on Sunday, with the rest of the results expected shortly. Those who test negative will then be tested again in Lahore on Thursday, and only another negative result will permit them access to the charter flight.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan is one three squad members confirmed to have tested positive
The news follows a warning from the Pakistan Cricket Board’s director of sports medicine about the risks involved in travelling during the pandemic.
‘Thinking that we are moving ahead with a zero percent viral load, that’s not right,’ said Dr Sohail Saleem. ‘You can control it by precautions and following the WHO guidelines to keep the environment and the people involved clean. There are protocols. But going out during a pandemic is a risk.’
England’s first ‘biosecure’ Test against West Indies is due to start in Southampton on July 8.