Pakistan insists plans for their upcoming Test and T20 matches in England remain “very much on track” despite a further 7 players testing positive for coronavirus.
The 7 new cases take the number of Pakistan players to test positive to 10 after 3 in the initial round of testing on Sunday. A member of the squad’s support staff has also tested positive.
However, the Pakistan Cricket Board stated it was still working towards a departure for England on June 28, with all eligible players submitting to a further round of testing before the flight.
PCB chief executive Wasim Khan stated in a statement: “The recent positive tests of some of the fittest athletes, who had not shown any symptoms, clearly reflect the danger this virus possesses.”
— PCB Media (@TheRealPCBMedia) June 23, 2020
“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.”
Fakhar Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, and Wahab Riaz have been named as the players who have tested positive in the most recent round of tests.
The statement added: “At the moment, they have been advised to go into self-isolation so that they do not only recover quickly but also prevent their other family members from being infected.”
“The tour to England is very much on track, and the side will depart as per schedule on June 28.”
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan speaks about the self-isolation and recovery of the players who have tested positive and their possible replacement.
“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.”
Upon their arrival in England, the members of the Pakistan team will also be tested by medical staff from the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Speaking before the 7 new cases were confirmed, England’s director of cricket Ashley Giles said he remained confident the tour would go ahead as planned.
Giles stated: “It is a concern, and obviously I’m most concerned about those players who tested concerned and positive about their welfare.
“At the moment, I don’t think the series is in doubt. We are far enough away from the start of the Test series (July 30) to not worry about that too much at the moment.”
Infection rates in Pakistan have risen sharply recently, with over 185,000 cases recorded in the country, along with more than 3,500 deaths.