The Pakistan Cricket Board has announced that after consulting with his family, veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik will join the team in England.
“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, according to a press release by the board.
“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.”
Wasim said they discussed the matter with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) who acknowledged the situation and decided to make an exception by assisting Shoaib to join the country on 24 July. “Shoaib will follow the UK government’s policies on visitors entering the country before integrating with the side.”
Shoaib’s wife Sania Mirza and his one-year-old son Izhaan Mirza Malik are in India while the all-rounder remains in Sialkot because foreign travel has been banned as part of security measures against the coronavirus pandemic. He led Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League until it was halted on 17 March.
The side is set to depart for 28 June for Manchester. They will then move to Derbyshire for their quarantine period of 14 days, where they will go through training and practice.
They will be taking part in intra-squad games to compensate for the lack of practice matches due to the lack of local teams being inaccessible because the ECB has not begun its domestic season.