LAHORE: Eighteen cricketers and 11 officials, all of whom are included in the England-bound Pakistan squad, have assembled at a local hotel in Lahore where a bio-secure environment has been created to keep all members of the squad safe from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The squad is set to leave for England on June 28 to play a series of three Tests and as many T20 Internationals there during August-September.

Chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq had named 29 cricketers for the England series, plus the PCB had announced a huge 14-member management team. Unfortunately, 11 of these including ten cricketers and one official, have tested positive for Covid-19.

These 11 squad members will not join the remaining squad members, now living in a bio-secure environment at the hotel.

On Thursday, the 18 cricketers and 11 officials, who tested negative and are currently staying at the hotel will again be tested, while the ten players and one official who have tested positive, will undergo retest on Friday in their respective cities.

Till the results of the tests, no player or official could meet each other in the hotel as per the SOPs of the bio-secure environment.

Meanwhile according to a PCB spokesman, four reserve players for the England tour — Imran Butt, Musa Khan, Bilal Asif and Mohammad Nawaz — underwent coronavirus test on Wednesday.

This was done in an attempt to keep the stand-bye players ready if the results of the second test (to be held on Friday) of the positive cases remain the same.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2020