Pakistan squad departs for England tour despite corona pandemic

Tanya Simon
June 29, 2020

The 10 Pakistan cricketers, who had tested positive for the coronavirus in the initial tests conducted by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), were not included in the first set of the contingent sent for the 3-match Test series and will join the players later if they return negative in next Covid-19 test.

Fast bowlers Naseem Shah and Shaheen Shah Afridi might be lacking in experience of English conditions, but Azhar has confidence in their ability to overcome a lack of practice on the surfaces they will encounter. They are: Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz.

Pakistan captain Azhar Ali has planned to attack England's "fragile top-order" during the upcoming Test series, insisting that the batting line-up of the hosts looks vulnerable after Alastair Cook's retirement.

The travelling party did not include 10 players who tested positive for the virus last week.

"It" s a matter of great happiness that we are getting to play again and travel to England", said Azhar.

"On our way to another historic Pakistan tour to England".

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Pakistan are due to play three Tests against England in August followed by three Twenty20 internationals. Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Woakes, Stokes and even Wood was there then.

"In terms of the number of games, of course, England have tons of experience in their bowling". They've tried a few combinations and only now it's just settling down; they weren't very confident of their top order.

Although it is hard to win a Test series in England, Azhar feels his team has the bowling power to win the series. But we have the skills: they (our bowlers) are young and have a lot to offer.

Former spinner Mushtaque Ahmed is the spin bowling coach of the team.

The 20-member squad, including 11 support staff officials, will now be put under a 14-day quarantine period in Worcester before transferring to Derbyshire's Incora County Ground on July 13. Pakistan have done fairly well in England in the last four years - winning the series in 2016 and drawing the one in 2018.

"I think if someone tests positive it is a surprise and this happened with our players but generally I think in this lockdown period the players have kept themselves fit and ready for cricket". "For long, we were not able to play the cricket, a game we love the most and this was the toughest time", ESPNCricinfo quoted Ali as saying.

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