Pakistan players have given their formal consent for upcoming tour of England, according to Sources.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) plan to send a 25-man squad to England in July to meet the demands of playing an entire tour in a ‘bio-secure’ bubble.
Pakistan are scheduled to play three Tests in August followed by an equal number of Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), with the matches taking place behind closed doors as part of measures to combat Covid-19.
Players were assured the PCB will not compromise on their health and safety. They will be given an option to withdraw if they are still not satisfied with the provisions that will be put in place. The PCB would also seek medical advice and government guidance before going on the tour.
Pakistan’s head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq has confirmed that wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed will be part of the squad for the upcoming tour of England.
“We will be taking a group of 25 to 27 players to England because we can’t ask for replacements and we all have to be together from start to end so that no one catches the virus,” Misbah was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India.
“Yes it makes sense to take two keepers on this tour because where will we find a replacement in those conditions. Sarfaraz is obviously our choice.”
Misbah-ul-Haq also reiterated his stance on Sarfaraz’s removal as captain of the side from all formats.
“I felt that as time progressed Sarfaraz was feeling more pressure more so because of his own form which was suffering. It [removal from captaincy] was a decision to give him a break so that he could rest and make a strong comeback,” he said.
“I am happy to see that he has worked very hard on his fitness and game. He is very much in our plans,” he further added.
While commenting on Pakistan’s tour of England, PCB MD Wasim Khan said that all the players are willing to tour England.
“All the players are willing to tour England. I had made it clear that players won’t be forced to play the series if they don’t want to participate,” said Khan.
“We will discuss the future of the tour, which is likely to take place in the first week of June, with the ECB in a teleconference.”
Khan also added that bowling coach Waqar Younis, who is in Australia, will join the team in England, if he is not able to reach Pakistan due to delay in flight operation.
Khan was also hopeful that this year’s T20 World Cup, in Australia, won’t clash with the Pakistan Super League (PSL) if rescheduled.
“We will take a strong stance against ICC’s decision, if the T20 World Cup is rescheduled and it clashes with the PSL window of February and March next year,” he said.