Pakistan cricketer Kashif Bhatti has been allowed to rejoin the national squad, weeks after he returned a positive coronavirus test, and had to undergo self-isolation.
Kashif Bhatti had initially tested positive in Pakistan and didn't fly to England with the first batch that departed on June 28. Since then, the left-arm spinner recovered and tested negative twice, and was cleared to fly with the third batch and join the Pakistan squad in Worcestershire. He accompanied Haider, Imran Khan, and the team masseur, Malang Ali.
Kashif Bhatti tested positive upon arrival in England
However, upon arrival in England, Kashif Bhatti was tested again, this time under the ECB protocols, and returned another positive result. The 33-year-old was immediately asked to isolate himself from the rest of the squad.
Since then, two more COVID-19 tests have been conducted and he has tested negative on both occasions. Thus, Kashif Bhatti has now been cleared to join the team and he has already been integrated into the squad.
Speaking of the confusion surrounding the initial test, an ECB spokesperson said that the positive result was because of the 'remnants of a previous COVID-19 infection':
"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 now returned a second negative test with no risk of infection to other players and staff."
Before Kashif Bhatti, a second batch of Pakistan players consisting of Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz had tested negative upon retests and flew to England to join the rest of the squad.
Pakistan's three-match Test series against England is set to commence from August 5 and will be followed by as many T20Is.
Published 17 Jul 2020, 13:14 IST