Tour still on track as 7 more Pakistan cricketers test positive for Coronavirus

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Problems increase for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as seven more cricketers including some of the top names have tested positive for the coronavirus, the board announced on Tuesday. The PCB issued a press release on Tuesday, stating that seven players Mohammad Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman, Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Hasnain, and Mohammad Rizwan have tested positive, taking the tally to 10 after three players Haris Rauf, Haider Ali and Shadab Khan had tested positive earlier.

“Following the announcement yesterday that three players had tested positive for Covid-19, the Pakistan Cricket Board on Tuesday confirmed that a further seven players and a player support personnel from a total of 35 have tested positive for Covid-19,” the PCB said in its media release.

The PCB conducted tests for all players and support staff and affirmed that all of 35 players and support staff members were tested for the virus at their respective centres, which saw 10 players and a support staff member test positive for the virus. The tests were conducted in light of the upcoming England tour comprising of three Tests and as many T20Is.  

Pakistan are due to leave for England tour on June 28, and despite infections coming to light, the PCB CEO confirmed the tour is “very much on track”.

“It is not a great situation to be in and what it shows is these are 10 fit and young athletes…if it can happen to players it can happen to anyone,” PCB CEO, Wasim Khan told a media conference.

“It is a matter of concern but we shouldn’t panic at this time as we have time on our hands,” he added.

“The tour to England is very much on track and the side will depart as per schedule on 28 June,” said the PCB CEO.

“As mentioned in on Monday, senior cricketer Shoiab Malik, bowling coach Waqar Younis and physiotherapist Cliffe Deacon are yet to be tested.”

The PCB also confirmed that none of the players who have tested positive showed any symptoms prior to their testing for Coronavirus.

“Like Haider, Haris and Shadab none of the seven players and masseur had reported any prior symptoms of COVID-19 until they underwent first round of testing on Monday ahead of the side’s departure for Manchester,” stated the read press release.

All those who have tested positive have been asked to remain in quarantine at their homes, while the remaining players and support staff members will undergo a second round of testing in Lahore on June 25.

“The players and player support personnel, who have tested negative, will assemble in a bio-secure environment in Lahore on 24 June and will undergo second round of testing on 25 June,” it said.