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Ashley Giles confident Pakistan will tour England despite three players contracting coronavirus | Cricket News

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“At the moment, I don’t think the series is in doubt. We are far enough away from the start of the Test series to be too worried”

Last Updated: 23/06/20 12:07pm

Shadab Khan (left) is one of three Pakistan players to test positive for coronavirus

Shadab Khan (left) is one of three Pakistan players to test positive for coronavirus

Ashley Giles remains confident Pakistan’s tour of England will go ahead despite three of the visitors’ 29-man squad contracting coronavirus.

Shadab Khan, Haider Ali and Haris Rauf all tested positive for COVID-19 after being screened at the weekend and will not travel with the rest of the team when they leave for Manchester on Sunday.

A further 23 players should receive their results on Tuesday, excluding Usman Shinwari and Imad Wasim, who have already tested negative, and Shoaib Malik, who will join the squad in England later on after being given dispensation to be with his family having not seen them for five months.

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Pakistan are due to play three Tests and as many T20 internationals in England in August and September – and Giles says further positive tests may not stop that from happening.

Pakistan are set to play Tests and T20Is in England in August and September

Pakistan are set to play Tests and T20Is in England in August and September

“It is a concern – and we are most concerned about the welfare of those players who have tested positive,” Giles, England’s managing director of men’s cricket, told reporters via Zoom.

“At the moment, I don’t think the series is in doubt. We are far enough away from the start of the Test series to be too worried and we are still hopeful the Pakistan team will be arriving in the country fairly soon.

“We are still waiting on the other test results but I think we are still far enough out even if a number of those results were positive.”

Ashley Giles: 'At the moment, I don't think the series is in doubt. We are far enough away from the start of the Test series to be too worried'

Ashley Giles: ‘At the moment, I don’t think the series is in doubt. We are far enough away from the start of the Test series to be too worried’

Pakistan has seen a sharp rise in coronavirus infections over the last few weeks, with the country currently having around 185,000 confirmed cases.

“The situation in Pakistan is not great at the moment and our thoughts go out to the whole country, so clearly it’s important we get the team in the country and we can get on with our series. Anything that puts that at risk is clearly a problem,” added former England spinner Giles.

“All of this has uncertainty still as we know how fastmoving the situation has been around the world. We have been very careful at every step, but do we really know what’s around the corner? No.

“This is such a global and far-reaching issue and is affecting everyone and there are far more important things going on than sport.

“But we are hopeful that if we can get international sport on it will be a fillip for people around the world.”

Middle-order batsman Haris Sohail opted out of Pakistan's tour over coronavirus fears

Middle-order batsman Haris Sohail opted out of Pakistan’s tour over coronavirus fears

England will assemble at The Ageas Bowl on Tuesday afternoon to begin preparations for their behind-closed-doors three-Test series against West Indies, which begins at the same venue on July 8.

The sides will then travel to Emirates Old Trafford for the final two Tests, with both stadiums selected as bio-secure venues due to their on-site hotels and medical testing facilities.

The series against West Indies has been named #raisethebat as a tribute to those working on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic, with England to wear the names of key workers on their training tops ahead of day one of the first Test in Southampton.





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