Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Tuesday that 10 players have tested positive for COVID-19 during a round of tests ahead of the squad assembling for their tour of England.
It was revealed that Fakhar Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan and Wahab Riaz have contracted coronavirus. Initially, the results of Shadab Khan, Haider Ali and Haris Rauf came out positive after being screened in Rawalpindi over the weekend but now seven more names have been added to the list. All of these players have been instructed to quarantine at home and will now not travel with the squad when it leaves for Manchester on Sunday.
Pakistan cricketers Haider Ali, Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan have tested positive for COVID-19.— ICC (@ICC) June 23, 2020
We wish them a speedy recovery 🙌 pic.twitter.com/yzc8J3PSBB
“The recent positive tests of some of the fittest athletes, who had not shown any symptoms, clearly reflect the danger this virus possesses,” PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said in a press statement. “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.”
However, despite the setback, Khan insisted that the tour to England was not under threat, though he confirmed contingency plans were being put together for replacements should more players test positive during later rounds of testing.
According to the PCB, players who have tested negative will undergo a second round of testing on Thursday 25 June, having assembled together in a bio-secure environment in Lahore. Those who test negative a second time will then depart for England, where they will be tested once more within 24 hours of arrival. They will then enter a two-week qurantine, as per UK government regulations, during which they will be able to train in a bio-secure environment.
Interestingly, cricketer Mohammad Hafeez announced on Tuesday night that he has tested positive however his second test came out negative.