Coronavirus outbreak: Three Pakistan players test positive for COVID-19
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on Monday, confirmed that three players, namely Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, and Haider Ali have tested positive for COVID-19. The announcement comes ahead of Pakistan's much-awaited England tour. Reportedly, the three players showed no major symptoms until they were tested in Rawalpindi on Sunday. The 29-man contingent is due to leave for England on June 28. Here is more.
Here is what PCB wrote on Twitter
"PCB has confirmed 3 players - Haider Ali, Haris Rauf & Shadab Khan - have tested positive for #COVID19. The players had shown no symptoms until they were tested in Rawalpindi on Sunday ahead of Pakistan national cricket team's tour to England," the statement read.
PCB's official tweet
Players advised to go into self-isolation
The PCB medical panel is in contact with the three players, who have been advised to immediately go into self-isolation. Leg-spinner Shadab is the only established player among the three, while Rauf and Ali are rather inexperienced. Imad Wasim and Usman Shinwari, also screened in Rawalpindi, have tested negative and will travel to Lahore on June 24.
Other players also tested, results awaited
The other players and team officials, including Shoaib Malik and Waqar Younis, underwent tests at their respective centres in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. PCB is expected to announce the results on Tuesday, through usual channels.
A second test will be taken in Lahore
Earlier, an official revealed a second test will be taken in Lahore on Wednesday. If any player or official tests positive for COVID-19, he will not travel to England. In that case, the players who have been included in the reserves list, shall be added as replacement. Previously, PCB named Bilal Asif, Imran Butt, Musa Khan, and Mohammad Nawaz as reserves for the tour.
Will the bilateral series go ahead?
After taking te second test, the Pakistan cricketers will assemble in Lahore for departure. Reportedly, the special charted flight will carry the Pakistan contingent on June 28. Although England will host Pakistan for three Tests and as many T20Is in July, the negative results have posed a serious threat on the series. However, PCB has refrained from making any comment about it.
Cricket South Africa reports seven positive COVID-19 cases
In another unfortunate news, as many as seven officials at Cricket South Africa have tested positive for novel coronavirus. CSA had conducted mass testing of over 100 employees throughout the country, which included affiliate staff and some of the contracted professional players. However, CSA's acting CEO Jacques Faul did not reveal if any South African player has tested positive.
The fate of 3TC match
The news will have a direct impact on the newly introduced 3TC format. Cricket South Africa, on Saturday, postponed the Solidarity Cup indefinitely after failing to meet the requirements on time. Also, the officials are yet to get the approval from government to stage the 36-over match. It remains to be seen if cricket returns to South Africa amid the coronavirus pandemic.