Pakistan spinner Kashif Bhatti joins squad after testing COVID negative

Kashif Bhatti had returned the positive test “for the remnants of a previous COVID-19 infection” and underwent a precautionary period of self-isolation.

Kashif Bhatti

Kashif Bhatti had earlier tested positive after arriving in the UK with a delayed third batch of Pakistani players for the series starting next month.   -  Twitter

Pakistan left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti has been allowed to join the rest of the squad in Worcester after testing COVID-19 negative twice as per the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) protocols.

The 33-year-old had earlier tested positive after arriving in the UK with a delayed third batch of Pakistani players for the series starting next month.

Bhatti had tested positive back home in Pakistan. He was cleared to fly to the UK after testing negative twice as per the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) protocols.

But after landing in the UK, his initial test results conducted under ECB protocols turned out positive, forcing him to self-isolate from the rest of the Pakistan squad in Worcester.

But he is now being allowed to mingle with the team after consecutive negative results, reported ESPNcricinfo.

“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,” an ECB spokesperson said.

READ | Jofra Archer out of second Test for breaching COVID-19 protocols

“The player has now returned a second negative test with no risk of infection to other players and staff.”

Bhatti flew to the UK along with fellow cricketers Haider Ali and Imran Khan, besides team masseur Malang Ali. All of them had initially tested positive in Pakistan.

Most of the players in the Pakistan squad landed on June 29 while a second batch of players including Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz, all of who had tested negative on the retest, arrived a few days later.

The third batch of Pakistani players and support staff arrived on July 8.

Pakistan is scheduled to play a three-match Test series against England to be held in a bio-secure environment, starting August 5 at Manchester.

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