Former Pakistan skipper Rashid Latif has slapped a huge allegation on the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) by suggesting that a deal might have been done between them and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
The veteran wicket-keeper batsman also questioned the authenticity of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) retests results of Pakistan players who had tested positive on Monday and Tuesday.
During Round 1 of testing, 10 Pakistan cricketers had tested positive for Covid-19. However, after once retests were done on those players, six players including Mohammad Hafeez, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Rizwan tested negative for the virus. However, Kashif Bhatti, Haris Rauf, Haider Ali and Imran Khan yet again tested positive for the dreaded disease.
“I have my doubts regarding these results. I thought it was wrong to announce the results of the first round of testing that was done on June 22. The next 48 hours were extremely critical. PCB must have struck some kind of deal with the ECB. We don’t know what happened behind the scenes in those 48 hours. Now six players have returned negative after initially testing positive,” said Latif on his YouTube channel.
“If PCB is trading with ECB to send their players despite them testing positive, then they must have struck some deal,” he added.
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan on Saturday, while announcing the results of the retests, referred to the process of testing as ‘challenging and unprecedented’.
“This was a challenging and unprecedented process that we have conducted and I am pleased that following a second round of testing, we are able to confirm 20 players and 11 player support personnel will travel to Manchester on Sunday,” said Khan.
“Due to the increasing number of national cases and availability of testing labs in some players’ hometowns, I think the PCB medical panel have done a good job to get us through this process. Based on the national spread of players, there were always going to be some logistical challenges; we have taken a number of learnings from the process that we will take forward with us,” he added.
A 20-player Pakistan squad departed for Manchester via chartered flight on Sunday morning. The Men in Green are to take on the hosts in 3 Tests and as many Twent20 Internationals (T20Is).