Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf contracts COVID, doubtful to make his Test debut against Australia | Cricket News

KARACHI: Pakistan fast bowler Haris Rauf has tested positive for COVID-19, rendering him doubtful to make his Test debut against Australia in the opening match of the three-game series, starting in Rawalpindi on March 4.
Rauf is currently placed under isolation.
Rauf was tipped to make his Test debut since the national selectors had only kept three pacers in the Pakistan squad for the first match, including Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Wasim junior, who is also yet to play a Test for Pakistan.
“Haris has tested positive and has gone into isolation and with the Test just three days away it seems highly unlikely he will be available for the first Test starting March 4,” a team official said.
With Rauf a doubtful starter, indications are that the team management might call up young fast bowler Naseem Shah, who is among the two travelling reserves with the squad. Wicketkeeper batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed is the other reserve.
The touring Australian squad had its first practice session at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Tuesday amidst extremely tight security measures with roads surrounding the ground closed to the public.
A full house is expected on day one of the first Test after the government on Tuesday allowed 100 per cent capacity for the three Tests to be held in Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore.
The National Command and Control Centre for COVID-19 announced that all vaccinated persons, including children aged from 12 above can attend the matches while children under 12 will be allowed unvaccinated.
The government had recently also allowed 100 per cent attendance for the final stages of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore.

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