PCB announces 21-member squad for England tour
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday confirmed that a 31-member squad including 20 players and 11 support staffers will leave on a charter flight for Manchestar, England on Sunday.
The announcement comes after analysts and experts believed the series might be shelved after some players tested positive for Covid-19.
“This was a challenging and unprecedented process that we have conducted and I am pleased that following the second round of testing, we are able to confirm 20 players and 11 player support personnel will travel to Manchester on Sunday,” said PCB Chief Executive Officer Wasim Khan in a statement released on Saturday.
He said that “with the test series being played first in August, Misbah is satisfied with the group of players that are traveling on Sunday as the focus will be on red-ball preparation.”
“Misbah understands that flexibility and adaptability will be needed with his training and practice schedule while operating under various guidelines.’
The squad, upon their arrival in England, will again be tested by the English and Wales Cricket Board for Covid-19. Following which, the players will undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at Worcestershire where they will be allowed to practice in a biosecure environment.
Pakistan’s tour of England includes three test matches and three T20s. All of the games will be played behind closed doors without spectators due to the pandemic.
The first test match will be played on July 30 at Lord’s Ground, London.
Players travelling on Sunday include: Captain Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Iftikhar Ahmad, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Rohail Nazir, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, and Yasir Shah, the PCB said in the statement released on Saturday.
Moreover, the PCB said that “Cliffe Deacon and Waqar Younis will join the side directly from South Africa and Australia, respectively, while Shoaib Malik is expected to travel around 24 July.
“Following advice from leading sports science experts and as per the UK government regulations, players who have tested positive during the PCB testing process will be unable to travel on Sunday.”
The remaining 10 players and one of the support staff members who tested positive for Covid-19 will be retested again before they can travel to England to participate in the matches.