Pakistan tour of England: Second group of Pakistan players depart for Manchester

After the first set of 20 Pakistan players and 11 staff members reached England earlier this week, the second group of Pakistan cricketers departed for Manchester on Friday to join the national squad.

These players include- Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz. All six players will have to undergo testing procedure for COVID-19 in the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) testing programme.

Only if the results are found negative will they be integrated with the remainder of the squad in Worcestershire. The rule also strictly mandates that all teams are required to go a fourteen-day quarantine period. For perspective, even the West Indies team, which play England prior to the Pakistan series also had to follow similar protocol.

These cricketers were initially among the ten Pakistan players who went through a series of tests after which it was found that the players tested positive for the novel virus. However, PCB later confirmed 6 of those 10 cricketers have returned Covid-19 negative after the second set of results when retested on June 26 and 29 and will join rest of the team in Worcestershire.

The Pakistan tour of England will be the second consecutive series on English soil after the Lions play West Indies first in July. The Green shirts got the green signal from the England cricket board last month for the bilateral series which comprises three Tests and as many T20Is.

The Azhar Ali-led side have maintained a clean sheet in Test series against England since 2010 while England have also not lost a home series since 2014 and are expected to maintain their streak against Pakistan.With England already playing a three match red-ball series against West Indies prior to taking on the subcontinent team, the home side will come in as favourites when the teams lock horns.