Coronavirus: Sohail's Pakistan absence over COVID-19 fears as squad named

Omnisport

Pakistan have confirmed that Haris Sohail will not travel for the tour to England because of coronavirus fears.

The middle-order batsman withdrew from selection for the three-match Test and Twenty20 series, with fixtures set to take place behind closed doors across August and September.

While Sohail's absence was made public on Thursday, it was only in naming the squad on Friday that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) offered a full explanation, having previously cited "family reasons".

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A back injury has ruled out Hasan Ali, while Mohammad Amir is skipping the tour to be at the birth of his second child.

"Fast bowlers Hasan Ali and Mohammad Amir, and middle-order batsman Haris were not available for selection," read a statement from the PCB.

"Hasan is suffering from a back injury, Amir withdrew so that he can be at the birth of his second child in August, while Haris took the option of pulling out of the tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

Pakistan Under-19 batsman Haider Ali has earned a call-up, with Kashif Bhatti the other uncapped player included.

Chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said: "The selectors have picked a squad which gives us the best chance of success in England.

"It was a challenging process as the players have not played for an extended period of time, but nevertheless, with the month that we will have in England and the intense training we will undergo, we are confident we will get the players up to the mark to be ready for the three Tests."

Pakistan squad:

Squad: Abid Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmad, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imran Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim, Kashif Bhatti, Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah.

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