Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Pakistan’s tour of England to go ahead despite ten touring players testing positive for Covid-19

Posted on 25 June 2020 by Tusdiq Din

Pakistan’s upcoming tour of England will go ahead despite ten of the Pakistan touring squad testing positive for Covid-19. Initial reports  of three players testing positive were updated this week with seven additional players and team personnel added to that list. Despite the set-back, Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Executive Wasim Khan declared that the tour of three test matches and three T20s will go ahead at Old Trafford and the Ageas Bowl.

“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,” said Khan.

Embed from Getty Images

Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz. One of his team who tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of England tour

The players who have tested positive are: Fakhar Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan and Wahab Riaz. In addition, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan tested positive in earlier testing. None of the ten 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 remains in contact with these players and personnel who have been instructed to observe strict quarantine at home.

“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.

Embed from Getty Images

Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi has been given the all clear to tour


“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,” continued Khan, the former Warwickshire, Sussex and Derbyshire player.

Embed from Getty Images

England and Pakistan play three tests and three T20s

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.

Once their minimum quarantine period is completed, they will undergo further testing and after their two tests are negative, they will depart for England. 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.

The players who 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.

Embed from Getty Images

Yasir Shah of Pakistan will look to be among the wickets again in England

The players and player support personnel, tested negative, have been at a bio-secure environment in Lahore where they will undergo a second round of testing today. Once they receive the all clear they will then depart for Manchester on a chartered flight, and after arriving in the UK, they will be tested by the ECB medical panel

The players and player support personnel, who then test negative in the UK, will observe the 14 day UK quarantine period, however they will be allowed to train and practice in bio-secure facilities