Coronavirus: Alex Hales waiting to be tested after developing symptoms as final stages of PSL postponed

English batsman was among a number of overseas stars who had flown home from Pakistan late last week, following the escalation in travel restrictions worldwide

Alex Hales has confirmed he is awaiting testing having developed symptoms typical of coronavirus.

The Pakistan Super League was postponed on Tuesday morning after officials stated that a player had reported symptoms.

Although Hales was not formally named as that player, it was widely speculated to be the case.

Hales was among a number of overseas stars who had flown home from the competition late last week, following the escalation in travel restrictions worldwide.

He subsequently developed the kind of symptoms that the UK government had advised should lead to self-isolation.

The English batsman, who had been playing for Karachi Kings in the PSL, issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon clarifying his situation.

“In the light of the speculation and rumour that is currently circulating within the cricket world and on social media, I felt I needed to give a full explanation of my situation," Hales said.

“Like many other overseas players, I reluctantly left the Pakistan Super League early because, with Covid-19 reaching global pandemic status, I felt it was more important to be with my family rather than face a period of lockdown thousands of miles from home.

“I returned to the UK in the early hours of Saturday morning feeling perfectly fit and healthy, and with absolutely no symptoms of the virus.

“However, I awoke early on Saturday morning having developed a fever and followed the government’s advice on self-isolation, a process I am obviously still following having developed a dry and persistent cough.

“At this stage, it has not been possible to be tested, although I am hopeful that might be the case later today so that I can get absolute confirmation of my current health status.”

Earlier in the day, Wasim Khan, the Pakistan Cricket Board chief executive, said the Twenty20 league has been suspended, on the day its two semi-finals were due to take place.

“When the player told he had symptoms, we made the decision,” Khan said.

“There was no panic. We made the decision after giving it thought. There was no suspected case before this.

“We take responsibility for the postponement. But we had been receiving advice from local governments' advisories right from the start.

“We had taken precautions, such as deciding to play in empty stadiums.

"We had given players the option to either play or go home.

“We had considered advancing the tournament. We had reduced match days.

"But we took this decision because of the latest development.”

Shahid Afridi, the veteran allrounder for Multan Sultans, wrote on social media that the right decision had been made.

“Sad to see the PSL end, but health and safety of all concerned is the key, [especially] those who are travelling back to their homes,” Afridi wrote.

“Perhaps the decision could have been taken earlier. With regards to the trophy, well the table-topper should be handed the trophy?”

Khan said the last three matches of this PSL will be rescheduled at a later date, but that “safety is paramount” now.

“Sports worldwide is facing this problem,” Khan said.

“It's not just cricket and not just in Pakistan. There have been cancellations elsewhere, so this is not new.

“This is a pandemic, this has affected the whole world, this is not a minor problem.

“Cricket will always come second. We will monitor the situation and when we have the opportunity again, we will resume cricketing action, Inshallah.”

 

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