WORCESTER: Head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq speaks to Pakistan cricket team players during their first practice session after arriving in England as captain Azhar Ali (second right) looks on.
WORCESTER: Head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq speaks to Pakistan cricket team players during their first practice session after arriving in England as captain Azhar Ali (second right) looks on.

LAHORE: In an encouraging news for Pakistan’s cricket team on Tuesday 26 of the 29 players, initially announced for the England tour, plus 12 officials have all cleared their Covid-19 test, conducted in England and Lahore.

In the last round of the tests, 20 players along with 11 officials were tested in England on Monday soon after their arrival there.

On the same day, the PCB conducted the third Covid-19 tests of six players namely Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz.

According to a PCB press release, all 20 cricketers and 12 team officials cleared the test conducted by the England and Wales Cricket Board medical team in Worcestershire.

Moreover, the above-mentioned six players, whose first test came positive in Lahore after which they could not travel to England with the national squad comprising 20 players and 11 officials, received their back-to-back tests in negative. Therefore, they are now eligible to travel to England on the first available flight.

“Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz have tested negative for Covid-19 for the second time in three days and, as such, are now eligible to join the Pakistan national cricket team in Worcestershire,’ the PCB press release said.

“The PCB will now start making their travel arrangements and the departure details will be shared in due course,” it concluded.

Meanwhile after clearing the test in Worcestershire, the Pakistan team has started camp training there under the SOPs, besides remaining in quarantine for the next 14 days.

The first match of the three Test match series is tentatively scheduled to start from Aug 5. Later, the two countries will also play a three-match T20 International series. So far, both the cricket boards could not announce the final itinerary.

Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2020