Three Pakistan players test positive for coronavirus ahead of England tour

Haider, Rauf and Shadab have all gone into self isolation, with the Test series in the UK due to start at Old Trafford on August 5

CENTURION, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 06: Shadab Khan of Pakistan celebrates the wicket of Andile Phehlukwayo of South Africa during the 3rd KFC T20 International match between South Africa and Pakistan at SuperSport Park on February 06, 2019 in Centurion, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
CENTURION, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 06: Shadab Khan of Pakistan celebrates the wicket of Andile Phehlukwayo of South Africa during the 3rd KFC T20 International match between South Africa and Pakistan at SuperSport Park on February 06, 2019 in Centurion, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Three players from the Pakistan cricket squad which is scheduled to travel to England next month have tested positive for Covid-19.

The Pakistan Cricket Board announced that uncapped teenager Haider Ali, pace bowler Haris Rauf and all-rounder Shadab Khan all returned positive tests in Rawalpindi on Sunday.

The trio were part of a 29-man squad which is set to play three Tests and three Twenty20s against England. The first Test at Old Trafford is due to start on August 5.

England are preparing to face West Indies in a three-match Test series starting on July 8, with the tourists currently in quarantine at Old Trafford.

A statement from the PCB read: "The Pakistan Cricket Board has confirmed three players – Haider Ali, Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan – have tested positive for Covid-19.

"The players had shown no symptoms until they were tested in Rawalpindi on Sunday ahead of the Pakistan men's national cricket team's tour to England.

"The PCB medical panel is in contact with the three, who have been advised to immediately go into self-isolation."

Two other squad members, Imad Wasim and Usman Shinwari, were also tested in Rawalpindi and have the all-clear to attend a training camp in Lahore this week.

The majority of the remaining players and support staff were tested across three sites at Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar on Monday, with results not yet available.

Four players – Bilal Asif, Imran Butt, Musa Khan and Mohammad Nawaz – had been named as reserves for the squad in case a player tested positive.

The PCB said anyone testing positive must remain in quarantine for two weeks. After that period, they will only be allowed to rejoin teammates in England following two successive negative tests.

Pakistan players will also be subject to mandatory quarantine upon arrival in England, in line with British government regulations.

The team will eventually practice in what officials are describing as a "bio-secure" environment.

Following the August 5 Test in Manchester, Pakistan will play the remaining two games in Southampton, starting on August 13 and 21 respectively.

Pakistan will also play three T20 internationals in Southampton on August 29, 31 and September 2.

The three players who tested positive were not expected to play in the Test matches, only in the T20 games.

Team physio Cliffe Deacon and bowling coach Waqar Younis will fly directly to England from South Africa and Australia before taking their coronavirus tests.

Senior batsman Shoaib Malik, who will only play in the T20s, was allowed to join the team in late July to let him spend time with his Indian tennis star wife Sania Mirza and their son in Dubai.

Earlier this month, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi revealed that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. Former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza tested positive last week.

Updated: June 22, 2020 11:12 PM

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