COVID-19: ECB allows Pakistan’s Kashif Bhatti to join squad

Bhatti had tested positive for COVID-19 after his tests were carried out upon his arrival in the UK. Photo: File

MANCHESTER: Spinner Kashif Bhatti has been allowed to rejoin the Pakistani squad by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), it was announced on Thursday.

Pakistan are in England preparing for a three-Test series starting in Manchester on August 5, with those matches set to be followed by three Twenty20 internationals.

“A Pakistan player has been cleared to return to the squad after undergoing a precautionary period of self-isolation,” said an ECB spokesman.

“The player had returned a positive test result for the remnants of a previous COVID-19 infection and in consultation with Public Health England and a virologist, a safety-first approach was taken to isolate the player.

“The player has since returned two negative tests with no risk of infection to other players and staff.”

Thursday’s announcement came on the same day that England fast bowler Jofra Archer was ruled out of the ongoing second Test against the West Indies at Old Trafford after breaching bio-security regulations.

Harris Rauf’s health improving

Separately,  the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that fast bowler Harris Rauf’s health was also improving after the results of his COVID-19 test came out as positive. It also added that Rauf’s one test had come out as negative.

“[Harris Rauf] will be eligible to depart for England after testing negative for second time,” said the PCB, adding that the pacer was in a local hotel and being treated under the board’s medical panel.

Last month, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had announced Haris Rauf along with Haider Ali and Shadab Khan had tested positive for COVID-19. The pace was left out from the squad after the positive results.

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