Pakistan team better off in England than at home, says Holding

Former West Indies great Michael Holding believes the Pakistan cricket team would be better off coming to England than staying in their home country considering the surge in COVID-19 cases.

So, far 10 Pakistan players have tested positive for coronavirus after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) carried out testing on the entire 29-man squad due to fly out to England on June 28. However, Mohammad Hafeez, who was the once testing positive in PCB tests, has claimed that he has tested negative for the virus.

“Well, it would seem that England are safer than whatever is happening in Pakistan right now. As of the fourth of July England are set to have relaxations in their restrictions,” Holding, in a YouTube interview on his regular program ‘Mikey – Holding Nothing Back’ with interviewer Asif Khan, said.

“They will be reducing the six feet apart rule that was being insisted on, bringing it down to three feet or one meter apart. Things are getting a little bit easier there.

“They (Pakistan team) are perhaps better off coming to England as opposed to staying in Pakistan because it is even worse there. Once they get to England, they will be in a bio-secure area.

“Once they arrive they will have to do their two weeks of quarantine as I am doing at the moment. They will be moved to a bio-secure area to make sure they are not infected. They should be ok from there on,” he added.

Pakistan are scheduled to play three Tests and as many T20Is in England in August-September.

Despite the positive tests, PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan has said that the tour of England is on track.

Holding however believes it should be the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the people in UK who should have a problem with the Pakistan team arriving on their shores and not the other way round.

“If anyone should say that the tour should not go ahead, it should be the ECB or the people here in England because Pakistan is among the top countries in terms of positive tests,” the former Windies pacer said.

“I don’t think there is much chance of getting it once they get here as we have seen with the West Indies team. They haven’t had any problems since they arrived. If anyone had the virus it would have shown up by now. So people that think the Pakistan team should not come here are probably thinking more about the England team rather than their own,” he added.