Shoaib Malik to spend time with family before leaving for England; to reach UK on July 24

Shoaib Malik to spend time with family before leaving for England; to reach UK on July 24

Rest of the team will depart for Manchester on June 28.

Sania Mirza, Shoaib Malik and their son
Sania Mirza, Shoaib Malik and their son. (Photo Source: Instagram)

Pakistan is set to resume their international action with England tour where they are scheduled to play three Tests and as many T20 Internationals. The team will be leaving for the United Kingdom on June 28 and will reach Derbyshire for a 14-day quarantine period. However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has given a special exception to veteran cricketer Shoaib Malik who will now join the team on July 24 after spending time with his family.

The cricketer has been away from his wife Sania Mirza and his one-year-old for nearly five months now. He was playing in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) since February after which Coronavirus outbreak led to international travel being banned. Both Sania and his son Izhaan Mirza Malik have been in India all this while even as Shoaib stayed in Sialkot.

ECB has also agreed to Shoaib Malik’s case, confirms PCB

PCB’s Chief Executive Wasim Khan confirmed the news stating Shoaib Malik’s plight. He also cleared that the board has informed the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and even they understand the situation. Malik, meanwhile, will follow all the guidelines after reaching the UK next month.

“Unlike the rest of us, Shoaib Malik has not seen his immediate family for nearly five months due to his commitments and the subsequent international travel bans following the Covid-19 pandemic. As travel restrictions are now slowly easing out and there is an opportunity for a family reunion, it is appropriate that at a human level we show compassion as part of our duty of care and respect Shoaib’s request.

“We have spoken with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) who understand the situation and have agreed to make an exception by helping Shoaib enter the country on July 24. Of course, Shoaib will follow the UK government’s policies on visitors entering the country before integrating with the side,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.

Shoaib Malik only plays the T20Is for Pakistan now and the fact that the team will be playing three Tests first will allow him to complete his quarantine period and also train properly before the limited-overs leg of the tour commences.