The Pakistan cricket team is currently in New Zealand for a tour starting on December 18 with a 3-Match T20I series and a 2-Match Test series, ending on January 7. But the things are not looking in favour of the touring side ahead the series as three more members of the Pakistan team’s touring contingent tested positive for Covid-19. Now overall 10 members of the visiting side are positive for the coronavirus.
As per AAP, a total of 46 members of the Pakistan unit were tested for Covid-19. The results have come out according to which 42 people have returned negative. A total of three were under investigation “to determine whether they are historical cases” while one result was pending, as per the authorities.
Pakistan Cricket Board had already received a final Warning from New Zealand Cricket and their government after breaching the strict quarantine protocols. Keeping safety in mind, their training and preparations ahead the series is also hindered.
The 34-member touring squad arrived in New Zealand on Tuesday, November 24. They were tested on four occasions before departing for New Zealand. The players were accompanied by 20 officials and all 54 members were to be in a mandatory 14-day quarantine at the Hilton Hotel.
Earlier, New Zealand’s director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield had slammed Pakistan for not following the guidelines set by the authorities.
“The team as a whole has been issued with a final warning. It is a privilege to come to New Zealand to play sport, but in return, teams must stick to the rules that are designed to keep COVID-19 out of our communities and keep our staff safe,” said top health official Ashley Bloomfield.
“Not being able to train is not a punishment, that was a requirement anyway for the first three days. Looking at Day 3 test results and CCTV footage, we will have to make a judgment on if or when they may be allowed to be exempt from the arrangement everyone else has to undertake, so they’re allowed to break off in bubbles and train. I take a dim view of what we’ve seen already and we’ll take it really seriously.”
The Chief executive officer of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Wasim Khan had also warned the Pakistan unit in New Zealand to follow and respect the guidelines. If another instance of the players flouting the guidelines is found, the entire contingent will be sent back home, as per the verdict from New Zealand Cricket and the government.