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Kashif Bhatti allowed to rejoin squad after two negative Covid-19 tests
Pakistan News

Kashif Bhatti allowed to rejoin squad after two negative Covid-19 tests

Pakistan left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti has been cleared to join the squad in England after being forced to self-isolate following a positive test for coronavirus.

Bhatti was one of the 10 players who returned a positive test for Covid-19 in the first round of testing conducted by the PCB before the squad's departure for the England tour.

He subsequently was allowed to travel to the UK among the third batch of cricketers alongside Haider Ali, Imran Khan and masseur Malang Ali as a result of successive negative tests in Pakistan.

However, the 33-year-old uncapped player's test for coronavirus yielded a positive result once he landed in England.

According to the safety protocols, Bhatti was separated from the national side and underwent a precautionary period of self-isolation before testing negative for the virus twice.

An ECB spokesperson admitted that Bhatti's initial Covid-19 scare was down to the remnants of a previous virus infection.

"A Pakistan player has been cleared to return to the squad after undergoing a precautionary period of self-isolation," he said.

"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 since returned two negative tests with no risk of infection to other players and staff."

Bhatti was later observed to be taking part in the practice session held for the team in Derby. Regular virus tests for the players will continue to be the norm in the lead-up to the first Test against England at Old Trafford on August 5.

Two further Tests will take place in Southampton before the teams make their way back to Manchester for the three-match T20I series. All six international fixtures will be staged without the presence of fans in the stadium.