Ashley Giles has admitted he is "concerned" by the news of Pakistan players testing positive for Covid-19 but insists at this stage he does not think the series against England is in doubt.
The Pakistan squad was planning on leaving for England on Sunday with a Test series scheduled to start on August 5. But it was announced on Monday that three Pakistan players - Haider Ali, Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf - had tested positive for the virus. Other Pakistan squad members are expected to receive their test results on Tuesday.
But while Giles, the managing director of England men's cricket, conceded the situation was far from ideal, he did not feel the news put the series in doubt.
"It is a concern," Giles said. "Obviously I'm most concerned about those players who tested positive and their welfare.
"At the moment, I don't think the series is in doubt. We are far enough away from the start of the Test series to not worry about that too much at the moment. There are some more test results coming out later from the rest of the group so we will see what those say, but we are still hopefully that the Pakistan team will be arriving in the country fairly soon."
With numbers of Covid-19 cases in Pakistan rising sharply and now reduced to pre-lockdown levels in the UK, the management of both sides had agreed it would be wise for the Pakistan squad to travel to England as soon as possible. It now looks likely the squad will be isolated at Derbyshire CCC, which features a hotel within its ground, for a few weeks. The original plan to train at Edgbaston was thrown into doubt as the ground does not contain an on-site hotel.
"The situation in Pakistan is not great at the moment and our thoughts go out to the whole country," Giles continued. "But clearly it is important we get that team and those guys in our country and we can get on with that series. We need to get our opposition in country. Anything that puts that at risk is clearly a problem.
"There are a number of hurdles to cross. That's why we are trying to create environments that mitigate as much risk as we possibly can. All of this carries uncertainty, even to a degree the West Indies series, because we know how fast-moving this situation has been around the world. We have been very careful at every step, but do we really know what's round the corner? No.
"It's such a far-reaching issue, global issue that is affecting everyone. It's far more important than sport. But we are hopeful that if we can get international sport on, it will be a real fillip for many people around the world."
Whatever doubts there may be over the Pakistan series, preparation for the series between England and West Indies are continuing. England's 30-man training group will arrive at the Ageas Bowl on Tuesday afternoon to begin their 'behind closed doors' training period, while West Indies are starting a three-day inter-squad warm-up match at Emirates Old Trafford.
Each member of the England squad, including support staff, will be tested for Covid-19 upon arrival and will be expected to isolate in the hotel - mainly in their bedrooms - for the first 24 hours and until the results of those tests are confirmed. The first day of training will be on Thursday. Half the group will train each morning and the other half each afternoon. They start a three-day practice match, which could yet carry first-class status, on July 1.