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Seven more Pakistan players test positive for COVID-19

Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Hafeez, Hasnain, Rizwan and Wahab have tested positive. Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Hafeez, Hasnain, Rizwan and Wahab have tested positive. © Getty

Fakhar Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan and Wahab Riaz have all tested positive for COVID-19, Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed on Tuesday (June 23). This after three players - Shadab Khan, Haider Ali and Haris Rauf - had tested positive on Monday.

One member of the support staff, Malang Ali, the masseuse, has also contracted the virus. Pakistan had named a 29-member squad for the tour of England set to start in August but the positive cases have put the availability of players in doubt.

"The PCB medical panel is already in contact with these players and the masseur, who have been instructed to observe strict quarantine at their homes for their and their families' wellbeing," the board said in a release.

The other players - 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 - have returned negative tests.

The players who have tested negative will now assemble in Lahore on June 24 and depart for the tour on June 28. They will also train and practice in a bio-secure facility provided by the England and Wales Cricket Board after being cleared.

"The tour to England is very much on track and the side will depart as per schedule," PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said. "Fortunately, all the first-choice red-ball squad, barring Mohammad Rizwan, are negative, which means they can start training and practising immediately after they have been tested and given the all-clear when they arrive in England. In the meantime, Misbah-ul-Haq is reviewing the training schedule in England and is firming up plans for reserve players to be tested as a backup."

Shoaib Malik, who has been given the permission to join the side late, hasn't been tested yet along with Cliffe Deacon and Waqar Younis. The players who have tested positive, though, haven't been ruled out of the tour. Once they recover, they will travel to England and will undergo another test. The PCB has confirmed the players will undergo five Tests before the start of the first Test.

Pakistan will play the first Test at Lord's before travelling to Manchester and Nottingham for the next two Tests. The three T20Is will be played in Leeds, Cardiff and Southampton.

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