Pakistan cricketers indulge in game of table tennis upon reaching England

The Pakistan squad consisting of 31 members including 20 players reached England on Sunday. There was a lot of controversy before the Pakistan cricket team travelled to England for the series as the cricket board announced that ten players had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Then the PCB was left embarrassed when Mohammad Hafeez, who had tested positive in official testing, decided to get himself tested privately and posted a report on Twitter the next day in which claimed he had tested negative.

However, when the squad was announced the PCB announced that 10 coronavirus-infected cricketers would be held back till they don’t test negative twice. The squad and 11 support staff members were transported to Worcestershire after arriving in Manchester. Coming out one by one, wearing masks, the Pakistani players and support staff members were seen maintaining distance.

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After arriving in England, the Pakistan players and staff indulged in a game of table tennis as they reached the hotel in Worcestershire.

“Our players and coaching staff are keeping themselves active in Worcestershire,”

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has made arrangements for their testing before they go on a 14-day isolation period, during which they will be allowed to train. The side will move to Derbyshire on July 13 to prepare for their three-Test and three T20 international series against the home side in August-September.

Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, and Wahab Riaz have tested negative in their second tests but they would be sent to England only after two of their successive tests return negative.

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The six players will undergo a third round of testing at some stage next week. Players who have again tested positive are Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Kashif Bhatti, and Imran Khan, along with masseur Malang Ali. Fast bowler Musa Khan and wicketkeeper-batsman Rohail Nazir, who were among the reserve players reached here along with the team.

The players who reached here on Sunday are Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam (vice-captain), 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.

Zafar Gohar, the left-arm spinner who played an ODI in 2015, will join the side from England and will only be involved in pre-match preparations.

(with PTI inputs)

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