Veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik has been allowed to join the Pakistan squad in England late after spending time with his family whom he has not met for five months due to the coronavirus crisis, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Saturday.
Malik has been stuck in Sialkot while his wife, tennis player Sania Mirza, and son Izhaan, have been in India due to the ban on international travel due to the pandemic.
“Unlike the rest of us, Shoaib Malik has not seen his immediate family for nearly five months,” PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
The PCB said they have spoken to their counterparts, England and Wales Cricket Board, who have agreed to make an exception for Malik to enter the country on July 24.
A 29-member squad will depart on June 28 June for Manchester, before driving to Derbyshire for their 14-day quarantine period during which they will be allowed to train and practice.
Pakistan is scheduled to play three tests and as many T20 Internationals in August-September in a bio-secure environment in England following the COVID-19 pandemic.