'Unprofessional approach from PCB' - Rashid Latif slams Pakistan board after 10 players test COVID-19 positive

‘Unprofessional approach from PCB’ – Rashid Latif slams Pakistan board after 10 players test COVID-19 positive

Latif added that the selection committee must have already started thinking over replacements for the upcoming tour.

Rashid Latif
Rashid Latif. (© ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The news of as many as 10 Pakistan players testing COVID-19 positive ahead of their England tour has shaken the entire cricket fraternity. The Men in Green were gearing up to depart to England to play their first series post coronavirus outbreak.

However, Pakistan Cricket suffered a huge blow ahead of the tour as Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf and Haider Ali were the first ones to contract the virus. To plunge more misery, seven other players were also tested positive, putting the feasibility of their tour in jeopardy.

Pakistan are slated to play three Tests and as many T20Is against the host nation, starting from July 30. Ahead of their tour, the PCB had organised these 35 tests in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar, where they learnt about the players who have contracted the virus.

Several members of the cricket fraternity prayed for their speedy recovery and also wished them strength. However, former Pakistan international Rashid Latif slammed the PCB for its unprofessional approach to not follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) during the pandemic.

You have to follow the protocols and keep distance: Rashid Latif

“Players who have tested positive were practicing outside together, so there was bound to be a problem. Unprofessional approach from PCB and players is to blame for these positive Covid-19 tests,” said Latif on his YouTube channel.

“I also went to the ground for one day, but I maintained my distance with Rohail Nazir. You have to follow the protocols and keep distance,” he added.

Latif added that the selection committee must have already started thinking over replacements for the upcoming tour. However, the board has to ensure that these replacements test negative before their departure.

“Selection committee must have started pondering over replacements. But those replacements have to be tested as well,” said Latif.

The players and support staff, who have tested negative, will assemble in a bio-secure environment to undergo a second round of testing on June 25. The players who test negative in the second round will depart to Manchester in a chartered flight and will be tested again upon their arrival in the UK.