Coronavirus pandemic: English cricketers playing in Pakistan Super League to return home immediately due to virus threat
Several top players from England including Moeen Ali, James Vince, Samit Patel, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, David Malan, Chris Jordan, Jason Roy, Tymal Mills, Tom Banton are taking part in the PSL
Karachi: English cricketers competing in the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) are set to return home immediately owing to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Several top players from England including Moeen Ali, James Vince, Samit Patel, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, David Malan, Chris Jordan, Jason Roy, Tymal Mills, Tom Banton are taking part in the PSL.
"Every player has a right to return if he wants too. Some players from England have informed their franchises they would like to return home because of the existing situation due to the virus threat," a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said.
— PakistanSuperLeague (@thePSLt20) March 12, 2020
The PCB on Thursday took the decision to bar spectators from the remaining PSL matches that are due to be played at the National Stadium in Karachi.
The decision came as Karachi and Lahore were playing their match at the NSK on Thursday night in front of a nearly full house.
An official of a franchise which has English players on its list confirmed that the players from England wanted to go back immediately.
"We don't know when this will happen as the PCB is handling the matter but yes they are going back," he said.
The Sindh government on Friday confirmed another positive case of the coronavirus in Karachi.
The media coordinator to the Sindh health minister Meeran Yousuf told reporters that Pakistan's latest coronavirus case was a secondary contact case and had no recent travel history.
The new case was a 52-year-old male who arrived in Sindh from Islamabad two days ago and tested positive for the virus on Friday, taking the total number of cases in the province to 15 and across the nation to 21.
The coronavirus outbreak, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday, has led to nearly 5000 deaths globally.
In regular white-ball captain Jos Buttler's absence, Moeen is set to lead the English team in their first tour of Pakistan in 17 years.
Pakistan vs England: Moeen Ali officially takes over as leader from injured Jos Buttler as historic series gets underway
Ali won the toss and chose to field at Karachi's National Stadium as the series officially got underway.
Moeen Ali said that while their bowling was good throughout the series, it was good to see their batting in the last two games.