Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 July 2020

Pakistan to go ahead with England tour without 10 players after coronavirus outbreak

Four players test positive again for Covid-19 while remaining six must test negative a second time to be allowed to travel

Pakistan's cricket team will leave for their tour of England on Sunday without 10 players following the latest round of coronavirus tests, the country's cricket board said on Saturday.

Pakistan cricket board's chief executive Wasim Khan said the players can rejoin the squad of 20 if they later test negative. The team will take a chartered flight to Manchester on Sunday morning for a three-Test and three T20 series to be played in August and September.

After first testing positive this week, follow-up tests were given to Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Haider Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan, Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain and Kashif Bhatti.

Out of the 10, Haider, Rauf, Bhatti and Imran tested positive again. Players will be cleared to travel only after returning two negative tests.

The squad will have a 14-day isolation period on arrival before continuing their preparations ahead of the first Test with two internal four-day warm-up matches.

It is expected that the first Test will take place in Manchester in August but the England and Wales Cricket Board said the behind-closed-doors match schedule would be announced in "due course".

PCB chief executive Wasim was pleased that the tour was going ahead: "This was a challenging and unprecedented process that we have conducted and I am pleased that following a second round of testing, we are able to confirm 20 players and 11 player support personnel will travel to Manchester on Sunday.

“Due to the increasing number of national cases and availability of testing labs in some players’ hometowns, I think the PCB medical panel have done a good job to get us through this process.

"Based on the national spread of players, there were always going to be some logistical challenges; we have taken a number of learnings from the process that we will take forward with us."

Updated: June 27, 2020 05:13 PM

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