With less than a week left for flying out to England, three-members of the Pakistan Cricket team have tested positive for the COVID-19 infection. The PCB had carried out novel coronavirus test on the England-bound tour party yesterday (Sunday).
As the results came out today (Monday), Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf and youngster Haider Ali have been reported positive for the novel coronavirus. All the players have been advised to go into self-isolation. All the three players were asymptomatic.
The PCB has confirmed the setback. “The Pakistan Cricket Board has confirmed three players Haider Ali, Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan have tested positive for Covid-19,” read a PCB statement.
“The players had shown no symptoms until they were tested in Rawalpindi on Sunday ahead of the Pakistan men’s national cricket team’s tour to England. The PCB medical panel is in contact with the three who have been advised to immediately go into self-isolation.”
The tests were carried out in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Earlier this month, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi was tested positive for the deadly virus.
Pakistan’s tour of England in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is a “big risk” but one that is necessary to help the country battle the crisis, a top medical official associated with its cricket board said on Monday.
Meanwhile, Dr Sohail Saleem, Pakistan Cricket Board’s director of medicine and sports sciences, has said that the tour is a big risk, but important for cricket.
“During this pandemic it is a big risk but this tour is also necessary if cricket is to resume now. The tour is also important as it will also help the country get through the COVID-19 crisis,” said Saleem during a media interaction.
He confirmed that the first COVID-19 tests had been performed on the players and officials going to England on June 28 in four different cities.
The Pakistan squad of 29 players and 14 officials scheduled to leave for England on June 28 via an 80-seater chartered flight to London. The team will stay in a mandatory 14-day in quarantine at an isolated base camp in either Worcestershire or Derbyshire before moving to Manchester.
Pakistan will play three Tests and as many T20 Internationals during the tour. The final itinerary is expected to be announced later this week.