Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said: “Following the announcement yesterday that three players had tested positive for Covid-19, the Pakistan Cricket Board on Tuesday confirmed that a further seven players and a player support personnel from a total of 35 have tested positive for Covid-19. The PCB had organised these 35 tests in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar on Monday”. PCB has confirmed that seven more cricketers have returned positive tests for Covid-19, taking the total count to ten ahead of their England tour.
On Monday, Shadab Khan, Haider Ali, and Haris Rauf had tested positive.
Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan, Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain and Kashif Bhatti were all diagnosed with the virus. According to the PCB CEO Wasim Khan, all seven players who tested positive are – like the three who returned positive tests yesterday – asymptomatic. Shoaib Malik, Waqar Younis and Cliffe Deacon have not yet been tested.
PCB also gave a list of players who are tested negative, here is the list:
Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Iftikhar Ahmad, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, and Yasir Shah
According to PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan “The tour to England is very much on track and the side will depart as per schedule on 28 June,” Wasim Khan said. “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. 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. At the moment, they have been advised to go into self-isolation so that they not only recover quickly but also prevent their other family members from being infected.”
“The recent positive tests of some of the fittest athletes, who had not shown any symptoms, clearly reflect the danger this virus possesses,” Wasim Khan said. “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.”
Apart from the seven players, one support personnel — the masseur — also contracted the illness after the cricket body had 35 tests carried out for COVID-19 in Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar.
“We are concerned as we see numbers growing in Pakistan. But one thing we do know about England is that there conditions there are massively improving. Shops and restaurants are reopening with social distancing. Once we cancelled our camp in Lahore we were looking to go England earlier,and so we are comfortable with the provisions at the ECB put in place. We will protect our players as much as possible and keep them safe to allow them to practice and play matches in a safe environment.”
PCB also told the next steps which are:
The players, who have tested negative, will assemble in a bio-secure environment in Lahore on 24 June and will undergo second round of testing on 25 June. The players, who will test negative on 25 June, will depart for Manchester on a chartered flight. Within 24 after hours after arriving in the UK, they will be tested by the ECB medical panel
The players, who will test negative upon arrival in the UK, will observe a quarantine period as per the UK government’s regulations, but will be allowed to train and practice in a biosecure facility. The players, who have tested positive in pre-departure testing, will observe self-isolation in their homes and remain under strict monitoring of the PCB medical panel.
As soon as they will complete their minimum quarantine period, they will undergo further testing and after their two tests are negative, they will be flown to England on a commercial airline. Upon arrival in the UK, they will be tested again by the ECB medical panel and will be allowed to integrate with the Pakistan men’s national squad after they test negative. According to series SOPs, the Pakistan men’s national cricket team will undergo, at least, five tests in the lead up to the first test