Former Pakistani cricketer Zafar Sarfraz dies of coronavirus

Zafar Sarfraz, a middle-order batsman, played 15 first-class games in Peshawar and retired in 1994.
Zafar Sarfraz, a middle-order batsman, played 15 first-class games in Peshawar and retired in 1994.PHOTO: PAKISTAN CRICKET/TWITTER

KARACHI (AFP) - Former Pakistani first-class cricketer Zafar Sarfraz became the first professional player in the country to die after contracting the novel coronavirus, his family confirmed Tuesday (April 14).

The 50-year-old first fell ill earlier this month and was put on a ventilator at a hospital in Peshawar after his condition deteriorated.

He died late Monday.

"Sarfraz was healthy and lively but some 10 days ago he developed symptoms of the coronavirus and did not survive," said a family member who spoke to AFP.

Sarfraz, a middle-order batsman, played 15 first-class games in Peshawar and retired in 1994.

Pakistan has recorded more than 5,000 coronavirus cases to date and nearly 100 deaths.

A lack of testing and an underfunded health care sector, however, has raised fears the country is ill-equipped to handle a spike in cases.