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ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Pakistan Cricket Board has apparently compromised on its COVID-19 protocols and allowed fast bowler Naseem Shah to re-enter the bio-secure bubble before returning to play in the country’s premier Twenty20 league.

The 18-year-old Shah was expelled last Monday from the remainder of Pakistan Super League after arriving at a team hotel in Lahore with an outdated negative test for COVID-19. The last 20 games of the postponed tournament are being played in the United Arab Emirates.

The PCB’s protocols required all players traveling to Abu Dhabi to present a negative test taken not more than 48 hours prior to arrival at the team hotel. Shah presented a report on Monday from a test that was conducted on May 18.

But after meeting with franchise owners, the PCB allowed Shah to return to the team hotel after returning another negative test COVID-19. Shah will then have to clear two more COVID-19 tests before boarding the last charter flight to Abu Dhabi for the tournament.

Shah is supposed to be the key player for Quetta Gladiators in the PSL. He rose to the fame with his pace when he made his test debut against Australia in November 2019 and then grabbed a hat trick in a test match against Bangladesh at Rawalpindi last year. He has played in nine test matches and grabbed 20 wickets.

The PCB has not yet announced the schedule of the remaining 20 PSL games in Abu Dhabi. The league was postponed in March when several players and support staff among the six franchises tested positive for COVID-19.


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