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PCB came under pressure after positive Covid-19 tests: CEO on England tour

Wasim Khan also stressed on the importance of resumption of cricket despite the pandemic

PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wasim Khan has revealed that the organisation was under immense pressure, over England tour, after 10 players tested positive for novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Haider Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan, Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain and Kashif Bhatti were among those who tested positive in the first round of testing before departing for the tour.

Apart from Rauf, other players subsequently tested negative and were allowed to leave for England.

“The Board was under pressure when so many players’ tests came positive. Thus sending the cricket team to England during the coronavirus pandemic was quite a tough decision,” PCB CEO Wasim Khan was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India.

“We kept to our plan to go ahead with the tour because we had in the first place decided to send the team to play our important part in the restoration of world cricket and to keep it on track, it is imperative to continue with matches,” he added.  

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He also opened up on reasons behind going ahead with the tour of England despite the pandemic.   

“Whenever we are asked regarding our decision to proceed with the tour to England, the same question should also be posed to the West Indies cricket team, which has also continued with scheduled matches,” he said. “The West Indies [cricket team] decided to go to England when the situation was quite worse over there [due to the pandemic].”

He also raised question marks over the efforts put in by previous PCB administrations, regarding revival of international cricket in Pakistan.

“They are more willing to come now. Tell me, why did not these teams like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh come for Tests and white ball cricket before we took over? We also brought the MCC side and the Bangladesh women’s team. All this gives us confidence that more teams will be coming to Pakistan soon,” he concluded.