Pakistan cricket squad to leave for England on June 28
The Pakistan cricket squad is set to leave for England on June 28 to play three Tests and three T20Is. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday confirmed the departure date and said the team will be quarantined in Derbyshire for 14 days. However, players will be allowed to train during this period. Here's more on the same.
Pakistani cricketers haven't played a match since the PSL was suspended due to the coronavirus in March. The PCB said apart from training and practice sessions in England, there will be intra-squad matches to compensate for the lack of practice games. This is due to non-availability of local teams as the ECB is yet to commence its domestic season.
England will gain plenty of momentum ahead of the series against Pakistan. They host West Indies in a three-match series, starting July 8 at bio-secure venues. West Indies team arrived in England on June 11 and are in quarantine at Emirates Old Trafford, where they will spend three weeks preparing. England will be ready and that's an uphill task for Pakistan.
Recently, it was reported that the Pakistan touring party will be tested twice for COVID-19 in the space of three days before leaving for England. According to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) sources, the two tests will be taken on Monday and Wednesday respectively before the cricketers assemble in Lahore for departure. A special charted flight will carry the Pakistan contingent on June 28.
Squad: Abid Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali (C), Babar Azam (C), Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmad, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imran Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim, Kashif Bhatti, Shadab Khan, and Yasir Shah.
Meanwhile, all-rounder Shoaib Malik, who will be playing in the T20I series, has been given special dispensation by the PCB to join the team in England on July 24 after spending time with his family. The senior cricketer has not seen his wife, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, and one-year-old son Izhaan for five months since the imposition of international travel bans.
"As travel restrictions are now slowly easing out and there is an opportunity for a family reunion, it is appropriate that at a human level we show compassion as part of our duty of care and respect Shoaib's request," PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said. He also said the ECB has made an exception by helping Shoaib to enter the country on July 24.