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Pakistan: Ten cricket players test positive for coronavirus ahead of England tour, PCB says no change in schedule

Experts believe that these test results are a massive setback for the team. However, the board’s CEO Wasim Khan suggested that the tour of England will happen as per the schedule. If the England tour gets cancelled, it may cost the PCB about USD 90 million in broadcast revenues.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed that seven more Pakistani cricketers have tested positive for Covid-19 infection. In a press release, the board informed the names of the players that are Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hasnain, Wahab Riaz, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Kashif Bhatti and Imran Khan.

On 22nd June, the board had confirmed that Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf and Haider Ali had tested positive for the infection. As of now, ten Pakistani cricketers have tested positive.

Pakistan is preparing for its tour of England scheduled for August this year. These tests were done as per mandatory safety protocol. As a total of ten players have been tested positive, there are speculations over the tour. On Monday, the board announced three players’ results to be Covid-positive in Rawalpindi and informed that the results of other players are awaited. Team masseur Malang Ali also tested positive for the virus.

England tour in August might be in jeopardy

Experts believe that these test results are a massive setback for the team. However, the board’s CEO Wasim Khan suggested that the tour of England will happen as per the schedule. As of now, all but one player from the main test team have tested negative. Only Mohammad Rizwan has tested positive.

Khan said, “The tour is very much on track, the squad will depart as per schedule on 28th. Fortunately, all first-choice red-ball players, barring Rizwan, are negative, which means they can start training immediately after they are tested & given all clear when they arrive in the UK,”

Pakistan will play three-match test series and T20 matches in England during their tour in August. The players who got tested positive for the infection are under self-isolation at home. They may join the team later after clearance from the board. Shoaib Malik and bowling coach Waqar Younis have not been tested yet.

If the England tour gets canceled, it will cost PCB an estimated loss of 90 million dollars in broadcasting revenues.

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