KARACHI: Australia’s spin bowling consultant Fawad Ahmed has been forced into isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of the team’s three-Test series against hosts Pakistan, starting on Friday.
“Team medical staff ensured Fawad isolated on his arrival at the hotel and he then returned the positive test after showing mild symptoms,” Cricket Australia said in a statement.
“He will remain isolated for at least five days – as per government regulations – and will only come out of that isolation after he returns two negative tests and is symptom-free.
“Members of the Australia touring party self-test regularly and undergo regular testing from external medical practitioners.”
All Australian players returned negative for the virus on Wednesday.
The 40-year-old was roped in as a spin consultant after Sridharan Sriram was unavailable for the tour.
Earlier this week, Pakistan fast bowler Haris Rauf had tested positive for the virus, making him doubtful for the opening Test.
Australia is touring Pakistan after 24 years and will play for the Benaud-Qadir Trophy to mark the occasion.
The first Test will be held in Rawalpindi from March 4 to 8, followed by the second Test in Karachi from March 12 to 16 and third Test in Lahore from March 21-25.
It will be followed by three ODIs and a one-off T20, all of which will be played in Rawalpindi between March 29 and April 5.
Since Australia’s Test team’s last tour in 1998, Pakistan has been hosting its home series against them at neutral venues.
This will be a perpetual Trophy and will be presented at the end of each men’s Test series played between the Pakistani and Australian cricket teams.
Pakistani captain Babar Azam and Australian captain Pat Cummins on Wednesday unveiled the Benaud-Qadir Trophy at the Pindi Cricket Stadium ahead of the first Test which commences on Friday.
The Benaud-Qadir Trophy will be presented to the winning side at the headquarters of Pakistan cricket in Lahore where the three-Test series will culminate.