Seven more Pakistan players test positive to COVID-19

By ScoreLine Desk - June 25, 2020

Seven more Pakistan players due to tour England in August have tested positive for coronavirus, the country’s cricket board said Tuesday, taking the total to 10 since the first results were announced this week.

Pakistan are due to depart for England on Saturday ahead of a series that will see them play three Tests and three Twenty20 internationals against England, starting in August.

Despite the new cases, the Pakistan Cricket Board’s chief executive Wasim Khan insisted the tour will go ahead.

“The tour is very much on the track and the squad will depart as per schedule,” said Khan.

“Fortunately, all first-choice Test players, barring wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, are negative which means they can start training immediately after they are tested and given all clear when they arrive in UK.

Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan, Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Kashif Bhatti are the latest to be diagnosed with the virus.

It comes after Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf and Haider Ali tested positive on Monday.

The team’s massage therapist has also tested positive.

Pakistan is experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases, with more than 185,000 so far, including 3,695 deaths, while cases are falling in Britain.

Khan expressed disappointment that so many players had tested positive.

“We gave players the guidelines, but we can’t stop them from meeting their relatives,” he said.

All players that tested negative will undergo another screening for the virus in Lahore on Thursday before heading to England on a chartered plane two days later.

The Pakistan squad will then spend 14 days in quarantine in Derbyshire before moving to Manchester for practice games before the Test series.

Four reserve players – batsman Imran Butt, allrounder Mohammad Nawaz, spinner Bilal Asif and fast bowler Musa Khan – will also undergo testing. If cleared, they will join the squad.

Meanwhile, former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza and two other players said they have tested positive for the coronavirus as infections in the South Asian nation rise.

Left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam and former opener Nafees Iqbal were the other two who revealed their positive test results.

Mashrafe, who stepped down as the one-day international captain in March but remains available for selection, announced the news on social media late Saturday.

Mashrafe – also a member of parliament – had been active in helping people during the pandemic, particularly in his hometown and constituency Narail, west of the capital Dhaka.

His mother-in-law and another relative tested positive last week, a Narail health official said.

Nafees, the elder brother of Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal, played 11 Tests and 16 one-day internationals for his country and is currently a domestic cricket coach.

Left arm spinner Nazmul, who took part in virus aid work in his hometown of Narayanganj, said he received his results on Saturday.

“I don’t know how I got it. My parents also tested positive along with me,” the 28-year-old, who played one Test, five ODIs and 13 Twenty20 internationals for Bangladesh, told AFP Sunday.

Bangladesh has confirmed over 108,000 infections and more than 1,400 deaths from the coronavirus so far.

By ScoreLine Desk

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