back in mid June, the Pakistani cricket team saw its first COVID-19 case as former captain and all rounder Shahid Afridi tested positive. On last Sunday, three more prominent players from the team Shadab Khan, Haider Ali And Haris Rauf also tested positive. Today, there has been a whopping seven more cases from the squad, including Mohammad Hafeez and Wahab Riaz, the two who were selected for Pakistan’s tour of England in August and September.
The confirmation came from Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), who revealed the names of the players who contracted the virus via an official statement on their website. Other than Hafeez and Riaz, the five other Pakistani cricketers who have contracted the virus are- Lahore Qalandars opening batsman Fakhar Zaman, Karachi Kings all rounder Kashif Bhatti, 20 year old pacer Mohammad Hasnain, first class cricket star Mohammad Rizwan and Imran Khan, the 31 year old bowler and namesake of the former captain and the Prime Minister.
PCB said that the results came in after the second round of testing, in which 35 total players and support personnel were tested. In addition to the seven cricketers, a staff has also tested positive. Additionally, none of the players who tested positive had shown any symptoms.
Wasim Khan, the CEO of PCB expressed his disquietude on such high number of positive and frequent cases from the team, as he recently spoke in a media conference.
“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,” Khan said in the conference, “It is a matter of concern but we shouldn’t panic at this time as we have time on our hands.”
While both Hafeez and Riaz, who are now under quarantine just five days before the squad flies to England, the and the the squad will be reworked, and Khan expressed positivity that the series against The Poms is still on the calendar.
“The tour to England is very much on track and the side will depart as per schedule on 28 June,” he assured.