The England and Wales Cricket Board has agreed to provide special assistance to Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik, with the veteran set to join his side’s planned tour late to enjoy a reunion with his family.
The official squad depart for Manchester on June 28, but 38-year-old Malik will not leave until July 24. Having been locked down in Sialkot he has not seen his wife, former tennis world number one Sania Mirza, or one-year-old son in five months due to travel restrictions in place during the coronavirus crisis.
The ECB may need to help with travel, logistics and quarantine arrangements to ease his arrival and has offered its support.
Pakistan have agreed in principle to play three Tests and three Twenty20s, with Malik only required for the latter portion of the trip having retired from the longer format.
PCB chief executive Wasim Khan explained: “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.
“We have spoken with the England and Wales Cricket Board who understand the situation and have agreed to make an exception by helping Shoaib enter the country on 24 July. Of course, Shoaib will follow the UK government’s policies on visitors entering the country before integrating with the side.”
The rest of Pakistan’s 29-man squad will quarantine and train in Derbyshire in preparation for the series.