Haider Ali, Shadab Khan, and Haris Rauf have tested positive for Covid-19, the PCB announced.
Pakistani cricket team three players, who, according to the committee, are all asymptomatic, will now undergo a period of isolation. Imad Wasim and Usman Shinwari were the other team players tested in Rawalpindi alongside, with their results coming back as negative. The rest of the team players and officials, barring bowling coach Waqar Younis, Shoaib Malik, and Cliffe Deacon, all underwent tests, with their results expected back on Tuesday.
The developments lay bare the stark difficulties of going ahead with worldwide cricket in these conditions, with Pakistan’s departure for England for a three-Test three-T20I tour shorter than a week away.
The team is due to arrive in the UK five weeks before the start of the series in August 2020, with the traveling party self-containing in a “bubble” which means they will not contact anyone outside their group. Families are to be banned from joining the players, and just last week, Haris Sohail and Mohammad Amir announced they would not take part.
As yet, the entire team has not been required to go into self-isolation because the team hasn’t begun practice collectively, but the PCB did recommend anyone who had been in contact with the trio to “self-isolate instantly”.
According to the rules laid out by the PCB for the England tour, it is not difficult that the trio may still be able to join the tour at a later date, even though they will not now be authorized to travel with the main team, which is due to leave for Manchester from Lahore on a specially chartered flight on June 28.
Last week, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi announced he had tested positive for the virus and was self-isolating. Taufeeq Umar also contracted the virus, going on to make a full recovery.
Speaking prior to the squad’s departure, Dr. Sohail Saleem, Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB’s) director of sports medicine, conceded that the players were taking a “big risk” embarking on the tour of England in the midst of a pandemic.
“We are trying to build a new normal, redefining etiquette – respiratory marks, hand washing,” Dr. Saleem said. “It is a combination of many things to make sure that we are keeping safe or reducing the risk factor to the minimum.