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Mohammad Amir to join Pakistan squad; Haris Rauf dropped after positive test results
Pakistan News

Mohammad Amir to join Pakistan squad; Haris Rauf dropped after positive test results

Mohammad Amir will be available to join Pakistan's squad in England after earlier withdrawing himself from the tour over personal reasons, the PCB confirmed on Monday.

Amir was one of the two players - the other being Haris Sohail - who pulled out of the forthcoming series ahead of the final announcement of the squad by the selectors.

The left-arm pacer had opted to be with his wife for the birth of the couple's second daughter, which occurred last week.

Amir's imminent inclusion in the side boosts Pakistan's pace bowling department for the T20I series due to commence on August 28. The 28-year-old speedster, who retired from Tests last year, will be replacing Haris Rauf in the squad as the young pacer has tested positive for coronavirus five times since contracting the disease.

Rauf remains asymptomatic but the PCB has been forced to call up Amir as his official replacement, whose arrival in the Pakistan side will lead to back-up wicketkeeper Rohail Nazir's removal from the line-up.

Additionally, Amir will be accompanied by masseur Mohammad Imran in his flight to England once the two individuals return successive negative results for coronavirus.

"Both Amir and Imran underwent Covid-19 tests on Monday and require two negative tests to be eligible to travel to the United Kingdom. If their first tests return negative, they will be moved to a bio-secure environment in Lahore where their second tests will be conducted on Wednesday, with the expected departures over the weekend," the PCB press release stated.

"As soon as Amir will join the squad, reserve wicketkeeper-batsman Rohail Nazir will be released from his duties," it added.

Pakistan head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq commented on Rauf's ordeal and expressed sympathy for the rookie paceman's string of positive results.

"It is very unfortunate because Haris Rauf was in our squad but he is repeatedly testing positive. We were waiting that he would be able to recover and join the team but given the multiple positive results [for coronavirus], it seems there is not enough time," he said.

"Keeping in view white-ball cricket and T20 cricket, we have decided to call up Amir after consulting with the captain. He is an experienced seamer and will bolster our pace bowling strength.

"Rohail will stay with the squad and gain experience by being among the players. We had initially brought him as a back-up wicketkeeper because of Rizwan's issue. However, Rizwan is already here and so is Sarfaraz so Rohail will leave the squad once Amir arrives," Misbah added.

Meanwhile, Shoaib Malik's travel plans for the England T20I series have been delayed as a result of the extension in the ban on international flights to India until July 31.

Malik is expected to link up with the national squad only after he has a family reunion in India as he was earlier set to depart for England on July 24.

"Shoaib Malik will join the side later on as he has a genuine reason and is currently staying in Pakistan. He needs to spend time with his family after July 31 and we are making sure he will have two-three weeks to prepare ahead of the T20I series," Misbah explained.

"When Malik comes in, we will decide which player to release from the line-up since we can keep a maximum of 29 players in the squad."