PAKISTAN CRICKET NEWS
Rohail Nazir led the Pakistan side in the ICC Under-19 World Cup earlier this year. © Getty
With as many as 10 players ineligible after initially testing Covid-19 positive, Pakistan have named a new 20-man squad that will travel on Sunday (June 28) for their tour of England. Fast bowler Musa Khan and wicketkeeper Rohail Nazir are the news names in the pruned squad, nine down from the initial 29-man squad named earlier.
Squad: Abid Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali (Test captain), Babar Azam (Test vice-captain and T20I captain), Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Iftikhar Ahmad, Khushdil Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Musa Khan, Rohail Nazir
Among the 10 Pakistan players who earlier tested positive, six have now tested negative. The players are Mohammad Hafeez, Wahab Riaz, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Hasnain — all of whom will now undergo a third round of testing “at some stage” next week. If their tests come back negative, the PCB will make arrangements to send them to England.
“With the Test series being played first in August, Misbah is satisfied with the group of players that are traveling on Sunday as the focus will be on red-ball preparation,” PCB CEO Wasim Khan said. “Misbah understands that flexibility and adaptability will be needed with his training and practice schedule while operating under various guidelines.”
Even though Mohammad Hafeez and Wahab Riaz undertook personal Covid-19 tests outside of PCB’s process, and returned negative results, they are “deemed to have one negative test following a positive test” and will be required to return another negative test before joining the squad in England.
Bilal Asif, Imran Butt, Mohammad Nawaz — who were named as reserves earlier in the week — don’t find a spot in the touring party. Shoaib Malik hasn’t been named in the touring 20-man squad but as clarified by the PCB earlier, he will be joining the team in England on July 24 after spending some time with his family in India.
The players who have tested positive again are Kashif Bhatti, Haris Rauf, Haider Ali and Imran Khan, and have been advised strict quarantine. They will be sent to England as and when they return two negative Covid-19 tests.
“I want to reassure the players and the official left behind that the PCB will provide them best support and look after them during the quarantine period,” Wasim Khan said. “It needs to be remembered that these players were asymptomatic, which means their chances of regaining complete fitness are higher and brighter than most. As soon as these players test negative twice through the PCB testing process they will be flown to England to join the squad.”
The 20 players along with 11 player support personnel will travel on a chartered flight to Manchester on Sunday morning. They will then undergo a 14-day isolation period in Worcestershire before moving to Derbyshire on July 13.
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