Six players eligible to join Pakistan squad after second negative test in three days
Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hasnain and Mohammad Rizwan have tested negative for Covid-19 for the second time in three days, making them eligible to join the Pakistan team in England.
These six cricketers were initially part of the 10 players who tested positive for coronavirus in the first round of testing. While Hafeez and Wahab immediately sought a Covid-19 test at a private lab, all the players were once again called up by the PCB on June 26 with these six individuals managing to obtain their first negative test.
The PCB is now looking at possible travel plans to ensure these players are able to join the team at the earliest before the Test and T20I series against England kicks off.
Rizwan's likely return puts Sarfaraz Ahmed's comeback in doubt since the latter is not considered to be a part of the first-choice Test XI.
Of the original 29-member squad announced by the PCB, Haris Rauf, Haider Ali, Imran Khan and Kashif Bhatti have come up positive for coronavirus twice and will have to record successive negative tests in order to fly to England.
Shoaib Malik will directly join the national side in England on July 24 as he was permitted by the PCB to spend some time with his family in India. Similarly, bowling coach Waqar Younis and head physiotherapist Cliffe Deacon will arrive in England from Australia and South Africa respectively.
Ahead of the arrangements for the tour, Mohammad Amir and Haris Sohail were rendered unavailable for selection owing to personal reasons.
The PCB has not yet specified details about the imminent departure of the six players who tested negative twice and stated it "will be shared in due course".
This development is a significant boost to Pakistan's depleted first group of travellers, which is undergoing a 14-day isolation period at Blackfinch New Road, Worcester. The players stationed there will have regular tests and daily screenings in the lead-up to the first Test.