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PCB call off training camp before England tour over coronavirus threat
Pakistan News

PCB call off training camp before England tour over coronavirus threat

The Pakistan Cricket Board has decided against conducting a pre-tour training camp for players prior to their departure for England because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The health crisis has posed insurmountable operational and logistical challenges to the authorities preventing them from organising a training programme in a safe and secure environment.

The coronavirus situation has rapidly deteriorated in Pakistan, where the number of cases has exponentially increased in the past week managing to exceed 110,000 while the death toll due to the disease has surged past 2,000.

To combat the issue of a lack of practice ahead of a significant tour, the PCB is discussing the possibility of an early July departure date for England. The PCB feels this would provide the players enough time to acclimatize themselves to the conditions and practice in the bio-secure bubbles arranged by the ECB.

All players and members of the support staff will have to congregate in Lahore before travelling to the UK, where their coronavirus tests are expected to be held. Further details on the scheduling of these tests and the training/match dates will be unveiled by the PCB in due course.

Pakistan is likely to announce an enlarged squad for the international assignment in accordance with the health and safety protocols. The PCB has already indicated that "additional players will be sent to England" to cover both red-ball and white-ball squads.

The board has advised players to refrain from practicing at cricket grounds, as is the usual method of training, in order to minimise the risk of exposure to the virus.

Players have been engaged in fitness drills confined to their homes since the absence of cricket in the country following the sudden postponement of the Pakistan Super League.

Amidst the unprecedented circumstances, the PCB was forced to hold online fitness tests for centrally contracted cricketers in April.