Coronavirus: Pakistan to travel to England despite COVID-19 positives

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Pakistan’s cricketers will arrive in England as planned on Sunday despite 10 of their players testing positive for coronavirus.

England are set to face Pakistan in three Tests and three T20 internationals across July and August but the tour was thrown into doubt over the past week as the initial 29-man touring party was struck by a raft of COVID-19 cases.

Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan and Wahab Riaz all tested positive.

The ECB said in a statement that players testing positive will not be allowed to travel with the advanced group, with Hafeez’s status unclear after the all-rounder tweeted a picture of a negative test and claimed he had received the all-clear.

Test captain Azhar Ali, white-ball counterpart Babar Azam and the remaining players will use Worcestershire’s New Road as their training base during their mandatory 14-day isolation period before transferring to Derbyshire’s County Ground.

Bilal Asif, Imran Butt, Musa Khan and Mohammad Nawaz have been named as reserves for the Pakistan squad and could make the trip subject to returning negative coronavirus tests.

England’s home season has been delayed by the global pandemic but they will host West Indies at the Ageas Bowl next month in the first of three Tests.