Major blow to Pakistan as seven more cricketers contract coronavirus ahead of England series

Written by Vipin Darwade

Seven more cricketers have tested positive for the deadly coronavirus, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Executive Wasim Khan said Tuesday, a day after three players of the national team had contracted  the respiratory illness.

“Players who have tested positive are: Fakhar Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, and Wahab Riaz,” the PCB CEO said in a video conference.

Apart from the seven players, a support personnel also contracted the illness after the cricket body had 35 tests carried out for COVID-19 in Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar.

“Player who have tested negative are: Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Iftikhar Ahmad, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, and Yasir Shah,” a statement issued Tuesday evening read.

Among player support personnel who tested negative were PCB Manager Mansoor Rana, security manager Lt Col (r) Usman Riffat, and media and digital content manager Raza Kitchlew, it added.

Coaches who tested negative included head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and his assistant Shahid Aslam, batting coach Younis Khan, spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed, fielding coach Abdul Majeed, and strength and conditioning coach Yasir Malik. The team’s analyst, Talha Butt, and primary medic, Dr Sohail Saleem, also tested negative.

The PCB had earlier announced Monday that leg-spinner Shadab Khan, fast bowler Haris Rauf, and teenage batter Haider Ali had tested positive for COVID-19 despite showing no symptoms and would go into self-isolation.

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Vipin Darwade