Pakistan Cricket Board has given special permission to veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik to join rest of the Pakistan at later date in England as the cricketer has been allowed to meet his wife Tennis star Sania Mirza and son Izhaan who are stuck in India due to COVID-19 forced travel restrictions.
Since the COVID-19 global pandemic outbreak Malik has not met his wife Sania Mirza and son for five months due to the lockdowns imposed around the World and had requested the board to give him some time off before the series against England.
Malik has been stuck in Pakistan while his wife, tennis player Sania Mirza, and one-year-old 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 was quoted in statement as saying.
Pakistan will play a three-test series and same number of T20 internationals against England in August-September in a bio-secure environment in England following the COVID-19 pandemic. The 29-member Pakistan squad will travel to Manchester on June 28 and from there will leave for Derbyshire where they will undergo a 14-day quarantine. They will be allowed to train and practice as per the standard operating procedure for the series.
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.