LAHORE -- After the setback of three Pakistan players testing positive for Covid-19 on Monday evening, seven more players and one official from the England-bound squad tested positive on Tuesday, raising the total tally to eleven.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive Wasim Khan officially announced the development on a video conference held on Tuesday, soon after the tests of 41 members of the touring party were completed.
Two officials - bowling coach Waqar Younis and physio Cliffe Deacon - and cricketer Shoaib Malik are not available for tests due to different reasons.
Those who tested positive on Tuesday include opener Fakhar Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan and Wahab Riaz. On Monday, among the five cricketers tested at Rawalpindi, three came positive, they were Shadab Khan, Haider Ali and Haris Rauf, while Imad Wasim and Usman Shinwari were cleared. The only official, out of total 14, who tested positive is Malang Ali, the masseur.
Total number of affectees in England-bound squad is 11
Those players whose tests were negative are Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan and Yasir Shah.
The cleared support staff includes Mansoor Rana (manager), Misbah-ul-Haq (head coach), Shahid Aslam (assistant to head coach), Younis Khan (batting coach), Mushtaq Ahmed (spin bowling coach), Abdul Majeed (fielding coach), Talha Butt (team analyst), Yasir Malik (strength and conditioning coach), Dr Sohail Saleem (team doctor), retired Lt Col Usman Riffat (security manager) and Raza Kitchlew (media and digital content manager).
'Yesterday we announced that five cricketers tested in Rawalpindi but three came positive and on Monday we tested 35 cricketers and officials in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar, and among them seven more cricketers and one official tested positive, making the total number as 11,' Wasim told media.
Though the PCB will be in a position to announce the final touring party by June 27, just one day before its departure to England, it does not want to accept this as a panic situation.
'As we have to play the three-Test series first there's no reason to panic since among the players testing positive, only three are required to play in the five-day format of cricket including Mohammad Rizwan, Imran Khan and Kashif Bhatti...