Three Pakistan players - Haider Ali, Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan - have tested positive for COVID-19, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed on Monday.
The PCB said that the players had shown no symptoms until they were tested in Rawalpindi on Sunday ahead of the Pakistan team's tour to England for which the 29-man squad is scheduled to depart on June 28. Pakistan is scheduled to play three Tests and as many T20Is against England in August-September.
The board further said that all the three players have been advised to immediately go into self-isolation.
Imad Wasim and Usman Shinwari, also screened in Rawalpindi, have tested negative and will travel to Lahore on June 24. The other players and team officials such as Shoaib Malik and Waqar Younis, underwent tests at their respective centers in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar on Monday and their test results will come on Tuesday.
Pakistan squad for England tour:
Abid Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam (Test vice-captain and T20I captain), Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmad, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imran Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim, Kashif Bhatti, Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah.
Few days back, the former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi also tested positive for COVID-19. Shahid tweeted from his account that he tested positive and now he is under self-isolation trying to recover. The all-rounder did a lot of charity work during the lockdown in Pakistan.
It's a huge setback for Pakistan as most of the players are anyway out of game physique due to no cricket from last three months. Now, if these three players can't travel to England, then it will be quite hard for Pakistan to challenge the English side away from home.