Pakistan have named a final 20-man squad that will fly out on Sunday for the tour of England that starts on 30 July.
With 10 players testing Covid-19 positive in the initial round of tests, Pakistan have named a new 20-man team that will travel to England on Sunday (June 28). Young pace bowler Musa Khan and wicket-keeper batsman, Rohail Nazir are the newbies in the team that is a trim down from the 29-man squad named earlier.
Although 10 players initially tested positive, the number has come down to four with Mohammad Hafeez, Wahab Riaz, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Hasnain all subsequently testing negative.
They will undergo another round of tests following which they will be flown to England, provided the results are negative. Pakistan are set to open their tour to England with a Test series and PCB CEO Wasim Khan and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq are happy with the group of available players.
“With the Test series being played first in August, Misbah is satisfied with the group of players that are travelling on Sunday as the focus will be on red-ball preparation,” Khan said. “Misbah understands that flexibility and adaptability will be needed with his training and practice schedule while operating under various guidelines.”
From the initial 29 players, Bilal Asif, Imran Butt and Mohammad Nawaz missed out on a spot in the trimmed touring party. Shoaib Malik, who is only on for the limited-overs leg of the tour, wasn’t named in the 20-man squad but is likely to join the team later.
Kashif Bhatti, Haris Rauf, Haider Ali and Imran Khan are in quarantine following two positive tests. These four players will need to return negative in two successive tests to have a chance of taking part in the tour at some point.
“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,” Wasim Khan said.
The 20 players and 11 support staff will travel on Sunday in a chartered flight. They will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day isolation period in Worcestershire before moving to Derbyshire. The first Test match is scheduled for July 30.
(Courtesy Sports Agency)