9 Pak cricketers contract Covid-19 Hafeez says he has tested negative


KARACHI: All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has tested negative for Covid-19 a day after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said he was among seven more players who contracted the disease ahead of their England tour, the player said on Wednesday.

The PCB confirmed on Tuesday that a total of 10 players, including Hafeez, had tested positive but the 39-year-old said in a tweet that a subsequent examination at a private laboratory in Lahore had cleared him.

Mohammad Hafeez

Hafeez added that his family had also tested negative and attached a picture of his medical report in the tweet.

Pakistan’s test and limited-overs squads will tour England for three tests and three Twenty20 internationals. They were due to fly out this month before going into quarantine ahead of the first test starting on July 30.

England director of cricket Ashley Giles has said that the tour is expected to go ahead. England return to action following the Covid-19 stoppage with three tests against the West Indies next month with the first scheduled to begin in Southampton on July 8 without spectators.

Despite the new infections, the PCB said the England tour is “on track” and the team will depart for the series as per schedule.

Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan, Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain and Kashif Bhatti were all diagnosed with the virus.

It comes after three teammates — Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf and Haider Ali — tested positive on Monday. A player support personnel, masseur Malang Ali, was also confirmed to have the virus.

Pakistan are due to play three Tests and three Twenty20 internationals against England starting in August. The PCB had conducted the 35 tests in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar on Monday.

The players who 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.

Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, batting coach Younis Khan, spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed, fielding coach Abdul Majeed and other staff members also tested negative. Shoaib Malik, Cliffe Deacon and Waqar Younis have not been tested to date, the PCB statement said.