Kashif Bhatti to join Pakistan squad after second COVID-19 scare

Kashif Bhatti to join Pakistan squad after second COVID-19 scare

Before heading to England, Bhatti was twice tested negative for COVID-19.

Kashif Bhatti
Kashif Bhatti. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Kashif Bhatti, the Pakistan left-arm spinner, was earlier tested positive for the COVID-19 virus for the second time. The 33-year-old is currently in England with the national team for the bilateral series which is scheduled to start in month of August. Bhatti, along with batsman Haider Ali, fast bowler Imran Khan, went to England on July 8 after testing negative twice for the ungodly virus.

In the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) first test, Bhatti, along with nine other Pakistan cricketers, were found positive for the coronavirus. Hence, the trio didn’t go with the advance group that left for England on June 28. PCB was also in a fix after Mohammad Hafeez, the veteran all-rounder, decided to conduct a test all by himself. Later, in PCB’s second test, he evaded COVID-19’s wrath.

Kashif Bhatti survives a scare 

As far as Bhatti is concerned, the PCB is awaiting the result of further testing conducted by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). According to Cricket Pakistan, after the reports come out, the PCB was about be taking a call on Bhatti. The southpaw is yet to represent Pakistan, having played 84 first-class, 95 List A and 46 T20s. Nevertheless, he has survived the scare and has tested negative.

Pakistan’s tour of England is set to start on August 5 with the opening Test at the Old Trafford in Manchester. The Rose Bowl in Southampton will play hosts to the remaining couple of Tests. There will also be three T20Is , starting August 28 and all the games will be played in Manchester.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected Pakistan cricket to some extent. Back in March, Pakistan was set to host Bangladesh for the third leg of their series. It consisted of an ODI and a Test match at the National Stadium in Karachi. However, the matches had to be shelved, bearing in mind the situation.

The fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) had to be postponed for an indefinite time period as well. The tournament came to a halt after the teams for the playoffs were decided. It has now been learned that the remaining games of the PSL could take place in the month of November.