Seven more Pakistan players test positive for coronavirus ahead of England tour
Ten players in total have contracted COVID-19 but PCB CEO Wasim Khan says tour remains 'very much on track'
Last Updated: 24/06/20 10:39am
Seven more Pakistan players in the 29-man squad to tour England have tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number to 10.
Fakhar Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan and Wahab Riaz were revealed to have contracted Covid-19 on Tuesday.
Shadab Khan, Haider Ali and Haris Rauf tested positive after being screened in Rawalpindi over the weekend - all 10 players have been instructed to quarantine at home and will now not travel with the squad when it leaves for Manchester on Sunday.
Malang Ali, the team masseur, has also tested positive and will not travel this weekend either, while all-rounder Shoaib Malik, bowling coach Waqar Younis and physiotherapist Cliffe Deacon have yet to be screened.
Pakistan are due to play three Test matches and as many T20Is in England in August and September, and Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan says the positive tests have not derailed those plans.
Khan said: "The tour to England is very much on track and the side will depart as per schedule on 28 June. Fortunately, all the first-choice red-ball squad, barring Mohammad Rizwan, are negative, which means they can start training and practising immediately after they have been tested and given the all-clear when they arrive in England.
"In the meantime, [head coach] Misbah-ul-Haq is reviewing the training schedule in England and is firming up plans for reserve players to be tested as a backup.
"The recent positive tests of some of the fittest athletes, who had not shown any symptoms, clearly reflect the danger this virus possesses.
"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 players and support staff who have tested negative will assemble at a bio-secure environment in Lahore on Wednesday and undergo a second round of testing on Thursday.
Those that test negative once again will then leave for Manchester, before quarantining and training in a bio-secure venue - after being tested by the ECB medical team within 24 hours of arriving in the UK.
Those that have tested positive in Pakistan will undergo further testing after completing their quarantine period and, if negative, will then be flown to England on a commercial airline.