Photo Credit: Pakistan Cricket Board
The Pakistan Cricket Board has given special dispensation to Shoaib Malik by allowing him to join the men’s national cricket team in England on 24 July after spending time with his immediate family, whom he has not seen for nearly five months.
Shoaib’s wife, Sania Mirza, and one-year-old son, Izhaan Mirza Malik, have been in India, while Shoaib has been in Sialkot since the imposition of international travel ban due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to the travel ban, Shoaib was involved for Peshawar Zalmi in the HBL Pakistan Super League, which commenced on 20 February before it was suspended on 17 March.
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan: “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. 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 24 July. Of course, Shoaib will follow the UK government’s policies on visitors entering the country before integrating with the side.”
The team will depart on 28 June for Manchester, before driving to Derbyshire for their 14-day quarantine period during which they will be allowed to train and practice. Apart from training and practicing, there will be intra-squad matches to compensate for the lack of practice matches due to non-availability of local teams as the ECB is yet to commence its domestic season.