In a recent development, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has allowed veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik to join the team in England on 24 July after spending some time with his immediate family- his wife and kid, whom he has not seen for nearly five months now owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Shoaib’s wife, Sania Mirza and a year old son Izhaan, have been in India, while the Pakistani cricketer has been in Sialkot since international travel was banned amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Prior to the travel restrictions in place, Shoiab was participating in the Pakistan Super League, which started on 20 February but was suspended on 17 March.
“Unlike the rest of us, Shoaib Malik has not seen his immediate family for nearly five months due to his commitments and the subsequent international travel bans following the COVID-19 pandemic,” PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said as per a board’s media release.
“As travel restrictions are now slowly easing out and there is an opportunity for a family reunion, it is appropriate that at a human level we show compassion as part of our duty of care and respect Shoaib’s request.
“We have spoken with the England and Wales Cricket Board who understand the situation and have agreed to make an exception by helping Shoaib enter the country on July 24. Of course, Shoaib will follow the UK government’s policies on visitors entering the country before integrating with the side.”
The Pakistan team is scheduled to commence their travel on 28 June for Manchester before driving to Derbyshire for a couple of 14-day quarantine period during which they would be allowed to train and practice.
Apart from training and practicing, there would also be intra-squad matched to try and compensate for the lack of practice games due to the non-availability of local teams as there England domestic season is yet to commence.