ISLAMABAD: Pakistan fast bowler Naseem Shah Naseem Shah tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.
The PCB announced that their in-house medical panel was monitoring him, and that any calls on his participation in the remainder of the ongoing series against England would be made after assessing his medical reports.
However, the development effectively rules him out of the entirety of the Lahore leg of the T20I series against England, and also leaves him a significant doubt for the forthcoming tour of New Zealand, which is due to get underway in Christchurch on October 7, as preparation for the T20 World Cup.
The Pakistan squad leaves for New Zealand on October 3 to play a T20I tri-series also featuring Bangladesh, with the final on October 14. They then depart for Australia for the World Cup, where, after a pair of warm-ups – including against England – they play their first group game in Melbourne on October 23 against India.
Naseem featured in the first match of the current series against England, and also played a full part in the recently concluded Asia Cup. In the absence of Shaheen Shah Afridi, who is also currently ruled out with injury, he had taken over the left-armer’s responsibility up top as Pakistan’s premier new-ball bowler.
Afridi, who has been undergoing treatment in London for a knee injury, is expected to be available for Pakistan for the World Cup.