Pakistan ready to embark on twin tour of SA, Zimbabwe

All 22 members of squad and 13 officials test negative

Updated - March 26, 2021 10:36 pm IST

Published - March 25, 2021 11:09 pm IST - Karachi

All the 22 members of the Pakistan squad and 13 officials tested negative for COVID-19 on Thursday and they will leave the country for the twin tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe on Friday.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had carried out COVID-19 tests four times on all the players and officials ahead of the tour.

One player, Hasan Ali, had tested positive initially, but he too later cleared three tests.

In order to avoid any COVID-19 related mishaps, the PCB has decided to fly the entire squad by a chartered flight to Johannesburg for the South Africa leg. The squad will also fly to Bulawayo from Johannesburg by a chartered flight for the Zimbabwe leg and return home the same way.

Pakistan will play three ICC men’s World Cup Super League matches from April 2 to 7 and four T20Is from April 10 to 16.

After the South Africa leg, Pakistan will play three T20Is and two Tests in Zimbabwe, before returning home on May 12. The itinerary of the Zimbabwe leg is, however, yet to be announced.

Big challenge

Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said going to South Africa would be challenging given the way some series were affected and postponed because of COVID-19 issues in the African nation.

“But at same time as the biggest stakeholders, it is responsibility of players to carry on and fulfil a moral duty to the game,” he said.

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