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England v Pakistan

PCB CEO Wasim Khan insists England tour ‘on track’ despite positive Covid-19 tests

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO Wasim Khan has insisted Pakistan’s upcoming tour to England is still “on track”, despite 10 of the players who were due to travel testing positive for Covid-19.

Seven more Pakistan players were confirmed to have tested positive in the second round of routine testing ahead of the team’s departure on June 28, with three having tested positive in the first round of testing. However, according to Khan, only one of those was likely to feature in the Test series against England in any case.

“The tour to England is very much on track and the side will depart as per schedule on 28 June,” he 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.”

Those players who have tested positive may yet join the touring squad. After observing the minimum quarantine period, and assuming they don’t experience any symptoms, they will undergo further tests, and if two come back negative, they will travel on a commercial airline to England, where they will undergo further testing.

“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,” said Khan. “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.”

After the first round of tests, but before the second, Ashley Giles, the ECB’s managing director of men’s cricket, admitted the positive tests were “a concern, but said he felt the tour wasn’t in doubt.”

“It is a concern,” Giles said. “Obviously I’m most concerned about those players who tested positive and their welfare. At the moment, I don’t think the series is in doubt. We are far enough away from the start of the Test series to not worry about that too much at the moment. There are some more test results coming out later from the rest of the group so we will see what those say, but we are still hopefully that the Pakistan team will be arriving in the country fairly soon.”

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