Pakistan’s white-ball captain Babar Azam left a few words for his fans and followers before leaving for the much-anticipated “bio-secure” tour of England.
Babar took to his twitter to express his excitement for the England tour, while also urging fans to pray for him and his teammates.
“On our way to another historic Pakistan tour to England. Its always great to play in England and I look forward to get on this journey with our talented bunch of players. Fans, as always we would be in need of you prayers, love and unconditional support. #PAKvENG #RiseAndRise” tweeted Babar.
On our way to another historic Pakistan tour to England. Its always great to play in England and I look forward to get on this journey with our talented bunch of players. Fans, as always we would be in need of you prayers, love and unconditional support. #PAKvENG #RiseAndRise pic.twitter.com/8KLFQjAYNU
— Babar Azam (@babarazam258) June 28, 2020
As per Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO Wasim Khan’s announce on Saturday, a 20-player Pakistan squad departed for England, via a chartered plane from Lahore, on Sunday morning despite novel fears.
Upon arrival in Manchester, the Men in Green will be taken to Worcestershire where they will undergo Covid-19 tests by the England and Wales Cricket Board’s medical team before starting their 14-day isolation period. During the isolation period, the players will be allowed to train. The players will travel to Derbyshire on July 13.
According to the original schedule, the first game will be played on August 5 in Manchester. England and Pakistan will then lock horns in the remaining two games in Southampton, starting on August 13 and 21 respectively.
The two teams will then face off in a much-anticipated 3-match Twenty20 series in Southampton on August 29, 31 and September 2.
First travelling batch of Pakistan Squad
Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam (vice-captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Iftikhar Ahmad, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Rohail Nazir, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, and Yasir Shah.
Zafar Gohar, the left-arm spinner who played an ODI in 2015, will join the side from England and will only be involved in pre-match preparations.
Player support personnel
Mansoor Rana (manager), Misbah-ul-Haq (head coach), Younis Khan (batting coach), Mushtaq Ahmed (spin bowling coach), Shahid Aslam (assistant coach), Abdul Majeed (fielding coach), Talha Butt (team analyst), Yasir Malik (strength and conditioning coach), Dr Sohail Saleem (team doctor), Lt Col (retd) Usman Riffat (security manager) and Raza Kitchlew (media and digital content manager).
Cliffe Deacon and Waqar Younis will join the side directly from South Africa and Australia, respectively, while Shoaib Malik is expected to travel around July 24.
Following guidelines from top sports science experts and as per the UK government regulations, players who have tested positive during the PCB testing process will be unable to travel on Sunday. However, they will be sent to England as soon as their two tests return negative.
It must be noted that, after retest, Mohammad Hafeez, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan all tested negative for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, Kashif Bhatti, Haris Rauf, Haider Ali and Imran Khan had once again tested positive for the virus.