Six of 10 Pakistan players headed for UK negative in second coronavirus test

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Six of the 10 Pakistan cricketers bound for England who tested positive for COVID-19 have now registered negative results on re-testing, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Saturday.

Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hafeez and Wahab Riaz, however, must return a second negative result before they can join the main squad of 20 players who will leave for England on Sunday.

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“These players were asymptomatic, which means their chances of regaining complete fitness are higher and brighter than most,” PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said in a statement.

“As soon as these players test negative twice through the PCB testing process they will be flown to England to join the squad.”

Kashif Bhatti, Haris Rauf, Haider Ali and Imran Khan have tested positive again.

Pakistan are scheduled to play three test matches and three T20 internationals behind closed doors in August-September, although the exact dates and venues have not been announced yet.

After reaching Manchester on Sunday, the players will undergo COVID-19 tests before moving to Worcestershire for a 14-day isolation period, the PCB said.

Test captain Azhar Ali and limited-overs skippers Babar Azam will be in the first batch of players, accompanied by head coach Misbah-ul-Haq.

Fast bowling coach Waqar Younis will travel to England from Australia, while Twenty20 specialist Shoaib Malik has been allowed to join late after meeting his family in India.

“With the test series being played first in August, Misbah is satisfied with the group of players that are travelling on Sunday as the focus will be on red-ball preparation,” the PCB CEO added.

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