Mohammad Hafeez back with Pakistan squad after negative Covid-19 test

Pakistan’s worries that there may have been a breach of the bubble they are supposed to maintain on tour appear to be over, with Mohammad Hafeez back with the squad, having returned a negative test for Covid-19.

Hafeez was placed in self-isolation on Wednesday and underwent testing, but once the results came back negative on Thursday morning, he rejoined the rest of the squad.

The Pakistan allrounder breached the regulations around social distancing during a round of golf on Wednesday. It came to light after he posted a picture on social media with a member of the public, a 90-year old woman who was not part of the biosecure bubble. Though the picture showed them maintaining some distance between them, it was evident they were within two metres of each other.

The PCB released a statement acknowledging the breach, and announced that Hafeez was being tested and placed in self-isolation until the test results came back. It was termed an “inadvertent mistake”, with no further action to be taken. ESPNcricinfo understands the decision was taken in consultation with the ECB, whom the statement said were “updated of the decision”.

The breach has seen the PCB take a significantly less austere approach than in other instances of breaches over the summer.

England fast bowler Jofra Archer was stood down for the second Test and entered self-isolation for five days. He was only allowed to rejoin the side upon returning two negative tests.

The same was required of West Indies head coach Phil Simmons, who left the team bubble to attend his father-in-law’s funeral.

Earlier this week, 19-year old Kent batsman Jordan Cox was dropped for a Bob Willis Trophy fixture after posing for a photograph with young fans.

The golf course where Hafeez committed the breach is open to members of the public, though the players have been instructed to maintain social distancing. Hafeez is not part of the Test squad, but will be in consideration for the T20I leg of the tour, beginning on August 28.

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