Pakistan Test captain Azhar Ali did not rule out Shadab Khan and Mohammad Rizwan joining the squad later in their tour of England once they have fully recovered from coronavirus. Shadab and Rizwan were two of four players who have tested positive in the latest round of results that came on Saturday. Also Read - Fakhar Zaman, Imran Khan, Mohammad Hafeez Among Seven More Pakistan Players to Test COVID-19 Positive
“There is a chance that they might join,” Azhar said in a video conference with reporters on Saturday. “(Shadab and Rizwan) are both asymptomatic. Doctors and medical staff expect them to recover quickly and they are both important players. So hopefully they will join the team quickly.” Also Read - Pakistan Cricketers Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Haider Ali Test Positive For COVID-19
Pakistan’s tour of England begins on July 30 with a three-match Test series. This will be followed by a three-match T20I series from August 29 to September 2. The matches will be happening without fans in the stand and will be the first for Pakistan since the pandemic disrupted the cricket calendar in mid-March. Also Read - Coronavirus Crisis: Pakistan Ready to Tour England For Three-match Test, T20I Series at Bio-secure Venues in July
“It”s a matter of great happiness that we are getting to play again and travel to England,” said Azhar.
“Players are excited and very hungry to play again. A lot of youngsters are there in the team too and none of us have been able to do what we love. Tours of England have always been challenging but our performances are very encouraging. Hopefully, we can carry on in the same vein and do better. Our 2016 and 2018 tours were good, we won the Champions Trophy there. We also performed pretty well in the World Cup.
“The crowd there has been very supportive, a lot of Pakistanis do come to matches. But unfortunately, they won’t be there this time so we will try to give our best and give the people watching at home some entertainment during these tough times.”
(With agency inputs)