The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is in fix. Only two days are remaining before the Covid19 hit Pakistan team is suppose to fly via a chartered flight from Lahore to Manchester.
The PCB on Thursday retested 18 players and 11 player support personnel, while the 10 players and one player support personnel, who had tested positive earlier in the week, will be retested today. Other than this five reserve players and a backup player support personnel have undergone Covid-19 tests on Thursday.
Pakistan tour of England : More positive tests can derail the flight to England
The PCB will announce outcomes of all tests on Saturday and that will decide the fate of Pakistan team’s tour to England.
More positive tests can derail the flight to England.
PCB CEO Wasim Khan is not ready to comment at this stage but reports coming from Pakistan suggest, PCB is desperate to tour and is also contemplating relaxing their Covid-19 testing policy ahead of the tour.
When the PCB agreed to the tour, they had announced a strict testing policy which meant that only players who twice tested negative for coronavirus would board the plane to England.
“Dr Sohail has been seeking opinions from several leading medical experts before making a call on whether those players who have tested positive can be sent to England after returning one negative test,” a well-placed source was quoted as saying by thenews.com.pk.
ECB spending ‘bomb’ on chartered flight for Pakistan to save $100 Mn worth tour
Meanwhile England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is also concerned about the financial impact the cancellation can have. From bearing all costs to arranging chartered flights for Pakistan team, ECB has gone all out to ensure that the $100Mn worth tour can go ahead without hitch.
– Pakistan are being flown in at a cost of around $627,000 (4.72 Cr)
– All expenses of Pakistan cricket team are being taken care off by ECB
– ECB will also take care of visiting team’s boarding-lodging as they are doing in the case of the West Indies team
ECB is taking all of these costs on themselves in order to safeguard the revenues from their broadcasters (Sky & BBC) and sponsors. It is estimated that ECB is set to earn round-about $100Mn just from the media rights revenue itself.
Pakistan tour of England – 3 Test / 3 T20 game Series slated for August
If all goes well, Pakistan team as per the agreement will be quarantined in Derbyshire, where they are expected to remain for a substantial period of practice and inter-squad matches before heading to Manchester for the first Test on August 5. The final two Tests will take place at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, with three Twenty20 internationals to follow between August 28 and September 1.