LONDON (ESPNCricinfo): Mohammad Hafeez, the Pakistan allrounder, has been told to self-isolate after breaching biosecurity protocols by posing for a photo with a member of the public.
Hafeez posted the photo, taken on the golf course adjacent to the on-site hotel at the Ageas Bowl, on Twitter on Wednesday morning, saying: “Met an inspirational young lady today morning [sic] at golf course. She is 90+ & living her life healthy & happily. Good healthy routine.”
While players have been permitted to use the golf course at the Ageas Bowl, they have been advised to avoid interaction with anyone outside the biosecure bubble, since the course is still open to the public.
The ECB’s medical team were made aware of the photo, and a PCB statement confirmed that Hafeez had been instructed to isolate “for his [safety] and the safety and security of everyone around him”.
Hafeez underwent a Covid-19 test on Wednesday afternoon, and the PCB said that he would be free to join back up with the rest of the touring party “at some stage” on Thursday provided his test result is negative. Hafeez is not part of the Test squad, and is on the tour ahead of the three-match T20I series starting August 28.
The sanction is lenient when compared to other breaches. Phil Simmons and Joe Root were both asked to self-isolate for five days and return two negative tests following their departures from the bubble for a funeral and a birth respectively, while Jofra Archer was also required to self-isolate for five days and return two negatives after stopping off at his flat when travelling from Southampton to Manchester.
On Tuesday, Kent announced that batsman Jordan Cox had been dropped for their next Bob Willis Trophy match after posing for a photograph with a member of the public, meaning he was forced to enter self-isolation and miss their next match this week – a similar offence to that committed by Hafeez.
“This morning, Mohammad Hafeez went to a golf course, which is adjacent to the team hotel and part of the bio-secure bubble,” a PCB statement said.
“During the golf round, he was photographed with a member of the public, which he subsequently posted on his social media account.
“As it was evident from the photograph that Hafeez had breached the two-metre social distancing protocol and following a consultation process with the team doctor, the team management has decided to isolate him until he returns a negative Covid-19 test.
“The decision to put Hafeez in isolation has been taken for his and, the safety and security of everyone around him.
The team management believes it was an inadvertent mistake, but a good reminder for everyone on the importance of following the bio-secure protocols, which have been designed for the health and safety of everyone involved in the series.
“The team management has updated the England and Wales Cricket Board of its decision.”
Before travelling, Hafeez tested positive for Covid-19, before deciding to get tested privately himself and returning a negative test. He then returned two more negative tests, meaning he was allowed to travel to the UK.