Pakistan’s tour to England will continue to go ahead as per schedule in July-August despite 10 players of the touring party tested positive for the novel coronavirus that continues to threaten the entire world.
Last week, 10 players namely Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan and Wahab Riaz of the 29-member squad named for England tour were all diagnosed with the virus.
However, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) now confirmed that the Pakistan’s three-match Test series and as many T20Is will continue to take place as per schedule and the touring party will arive in the United Kingdom on Sunday to start their preparation.
“The England & Wales Cricket Board can confirm that the Pakistan men’s cricket team will arrive in the United Kingdom on Sunday 28 June to start preparation for this summer’s tour of England, which includes three Test matches and three Vitality IT20s. The behind-closed-doors schedule for these fixtures will be announced in due course,” the official statement from the ECB said.
The Pakistan players will go under 14-day isolation at Blackfinch New Road, Worcester upon their arrival. They will then be shifted to Derbyshire’s The Incora County Ground on July 13 to boost their preparation with two four-day internal warm-up matches ahead of the opening Test.
The ECB, however, stated that all those players of the Pakistan team who have been tested positive for COVID-19 will not be permitted to travel with the advance group on Sunday.
Last month, Pakistan had agreed ‘in principle’ to tour England for three-match Test series and as many T20 Internationals from July 30 as the two sides look to return to action after cricket was distrupted due to coronavirus pandemic in March.
On a related note, the international cricket will resume with the three-match Test series between West Indies and England from July 8 at `bio-secure` venues of Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford.