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Mohammad Amir available to join Pakistan squad in England

The earlier than expected birth of his child means he is now available for the T20Is

Umar Farooq
Umar Farooq
Mohammad Amir could be playing the T20Is against England

Sportsfile/Getty Images

Fast bowler Mohammad Amir will join the Pakistan squad in the UK after all, having initially made himself unavailable for it. When the Pakistan squad was originally announced, Amir had pulled out because the dates clashed with the birth of his second child and he was concerned about travelling in that period. But an earlier than expected birth means he is now available for Pakistan's T20Is against England.
He is expected to now join the squad but will need to test negative for Covid-19 twice before departing for England. He was tested on Monday, and will be tested again in two days' time.
The first T20I is scheduled for August 28 in Manchester.
Amir announced the birth of his child on July 17 on social media, allowing chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq to recall him in place of Haris Rauf. Rauf had undergone six Covid-19 tests the last month, out of which five have returned positive.
He was due to fly to the UK on Wednesday after this fifth test was found to be negative, only for his sixth test - each player needs two negative results before flying out of Pakistan - to turn out positive. He is asymptomatic and has been advised to self-quarantine for another 10 days before undergoing yet another test.
An additional wicket-keeper, Rohail Nazir, will return home, leaving Mohammad Rizwan and Sarfaraz Ahmed as the primary options ahead of the Test and T20 series. Rohail, elevated from the Under 19 circuit, was with the squad as cover when Rizwan tested positive in the initial round of tests last month. Rizwan was later cleared to travel after returning two negative tests. The PCB will also send an additional masseur Mohammad Imran to ease the workload of the team's regular masseur Malang Ali who, also tested positive twice before finally being cleared to travel earlier this month.
Shoaib Malik, who was scheduled to join the side later this week, has now seen that date pushed back to the second week of August. Malik, who is only available for the T20I leg, was allowed to join up late after being given special dispensation to spend time with his family in the UAE. However, that reunion has been delayed because his wife, Sania Mirza, is currently in India. India has extended a ban on international flights put in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic to July 31, meaning Mirza will not be able to leave until after that date.
The Pakistan players and the support staff arrived in England on June 28, several weeks before the start of the first match to be able to train in the country, as well as complete the mandatory quarantine period for all foreigners travelling to the UK. The touring party is living in a "bubble" where they will not interact with anyone outside of the group, and regular tests for Covid-19 will be conducted on the tour. The three Tests and three T20Is will all be played behind closed doors.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent