Pakistan cricketers Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, and Haider Ali have been tested positive for Coronavirus as per the news confirmed by the Pakistan Cricket Board. All the three players were tested at Rawalpindi and were expected to join the team in Lahore before travelling to England. However, none of the cricketers showed symptoms before the test, and as a result, were asked to go under self-quarantine immediately.
This is a huge blow for the Pakistan cricket team which is scheduled to feature in a three-match Test series followed by three T20Is in England. The team will board the flight for Manchester on June 28 while most players along with the support staff were tested for coronavirus at respective centres in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. Their reports are expected to be out anytime on Tuesday as informed by the PCB.
Heartbreak for Pakistan U-19 star Haider Ali
The news is a certain heartbreak for Pakistan U-19 star Haider Ali. Ali, who represented Pakistan in the U-19 World Cup earlier this year, earned a maiden call-up for the tour to England. However, after being tested positive for COVID-19, it might raise doubts over his prospects of being with the team for the upcoming tour.
While Pakistan kickstarts their tour to England on July 30 with the first Test at Lord's, the team is travelling five weeks prior to the scheduled start. For the first couple of weeks, the team players will be monitored medically and will be put in quarantine in order to begin their preparations only in the second half of July.
The news regarding three players being tested for Coronavirus might force a change of strategies for Pakistan. With Mohammad Amir and Harris Sohail already pulling out, the ‘Men in Green' will have a lot to ponder in terms of their team combinations for the series ahead. Shadab Khan, being a valuable all-rounder, forms an integral part of both the Test and T20I squad. On the other hand, Haris Rauf has been one of Pakistan's rising stars in the shortest format of the game.