Pakistan’s tour of England in doubt after three players test positive for virus

Tour can be called off altogether if more players are diagnosed with the coronavirus

Pakistan’s tour of England in doubt after three players test positive for virus PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan's tour of England is in doubt after three members of squad tested positive for novel coronavirus (Covid-19), less than a week before their departure.

According to Daily Mail, if more players are diagnosed with the virus, the tour can be called off altogether.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on Monday, announced that leg-spinner Shadab Khan, fast bowler Haris Rauf and teenage batsman Haider Ali had tested positive for Covid-19 despite showing no symptoms and would now go into self-isolation.

Pakistan is experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases, with more than 180,000 so far including 3,590 deaths — though real numbers are thought to be much higher.

The PCB also tested 23 players and 12 team officials Monday, with results due on Tuesday.

Additional tests are planned for later in the week in Lahore, with only players testing negative allowed to fly to England.

The PCB said anyone testing positive must remain in quarantine for two weeks.

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After that period, they will only be allowed to rejoin teammates in England following two successive negative tests.

Pakistan players will also be subject to mandatory quarantine upon arrival in England, as per current British government regulations.

The team will eventually practice in what officials are describing as a "bio-secure" environment.

Fortunately for the team, the three players who tested positive were not expected to play in the Test matches, only in the Twenty20 games.

Team physio Cliffe Deacon and bowling coach Waqar Younis will fly directly to England from South Africa and Australia before taking their coronavirus tests.

Senior batsman Shoaib Malik, who will only play in the Twenty20 internationals, was allowed to join the team in late July to let him spend time with his Indian tennis star wife Sania Mirza and their son in Dubai.