The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will not allow players and officials touring England next month to take their families with them due to the precautions being taken to tackle the COVID-19 threat.
The English Cricket Board will reportedly spend around half a million pounds on the special chartered flight, which will fly 29 players and 14 officials from Pakistan to England at the end of this month.
“The board has made it clear to players their families can’t travel with them and also explained to them it would be of no use even if their families reached and stayed in England separately. The entire squad can’t interact with their families in person until the tour is completed in September,” a source in the Pakistan board said.
The team will be competing in a three-Test and three-T20 series starting July 30 in a bio-secure environment owing to the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“…this time the board has told the players that as soon as they reach England they will spend around 14 days in quarantine in Birmingham before they move on to Manchester after staying in isolation and in a bio-secure environment for around three to four weeks for their practice and training,” he said.
The source said that the total restriction on families travelling with the players was the main reason for batsman Haris Sohail pulling out of the tour.
During the 2015 World Cup, Haris claimed to have spotted a ghost in his hotel room in New Zealand after which the board allowed him special permission to have his wife accompany him on every foreign tour as he was not comfortable travelling or staying alone.
But this time, due to the new restrictions Haris was told his wife can’t accompany him after he decided to opt out of the long tour.
The PCB on Monday got the clearance from its patron in chief, Prime Minister Imran Khan, to go ahead with the tour which the ECB sees as essential to avoid a huge loss during the pandemic.
The Pakistan and England series is guaranteed to enable the ECB to earn between 70 to 75 million pounds from broadcast revenues.
The ECB has warned that a complete wipeout of season could lead to losses of around 380 million pounds.