Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent
Quetta Gladiators allrounder Shahid Afridi has tested positive for Covid-19, and has been ruled out of the PSL for at least a week, which will make him miss Gladiators' first four matches. This is the second time that Afridi has tested positive for Covid-19, with the first instance being back in June 2020 when he was involved in relief work during the early stages of the pandemic.
Afridi has checked out of his hotel room, and has been given a special permission to isolate at home instead of the designated area by the PCB for individuals testing positive. Gladiators have confirmed that he can be reintegrated into the bubble only after seven days of isolation and a negative PCR test.
According to the PCB's Covid protocols, all individuals who have been in close contact with the positive person - like members of the same team, individuals on the same hotel floor or anyone who has interacted with him for longer than 15 minutes from less than two meters - during the previous 48 hours starting from the time of collection of the sample which resulted in a positive test, will be isolated and tested too.
Afridi was already slotted to miss at least the first two games of Gladiators due to a back sprain he had picked up on Tuesday during batting practice in Karachi.
The seventh edition of the PSL starts with Karachi Kings taking on Sultans in Karachi on Thursday, while Gladiators begin their campaign against Zalmi on Friday.