Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman
Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman is one of the seven players who tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: In what could be a major bodyblow to Pakistan’s tour of England, seven of the key players of their squad - Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan, Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Kashif Bhatti were all diagnosed positive with coronavirus on Tuesday.

It comes after three teammates - Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf and Haider Ali - tested positive on Monday.

Pakistan are due to play three Tests and three Twenty20 internationals against England starting in August.

England managing director Ashley Giles earlier said Pakistan’s tour in August will go ahead even though three Pakistan cricketers have tested positive for coronavirus.

Giles expressed his concern, particularly for the Pakistan players who had tested positive, but told a conference call he remained upbeat.

“I don’t think the series is in doubt,” he said. “We are far enough away from the start of the Test series to not worry about that too much at the moment.

“There are some more test results coming out later from the rest of the group so we will see what that says, but we are still hopeful that the Pakistan team will be arriving in the country fairly soon.”

Cancelling the Pakistan series could cost the England and Wales Cricket Board an estimated $100 million in lost broadcast revenue.

“This is the difference with international sport,” said Giles. “We need to get our opposition in-country. Anything that puts that at risk or in danger is clearly a problem.”