Fakhar Zaman, Pakistan’s limited-overs specialist opener has been ruled out of the upcoming tour of New Zealand. Zaman tested negative for the coronavirus on Saturday, but the left-handed batter developed a fever the following day.
“Fakhar’s covid test report was received on Saturday which came out negative but today he picked up a fever. As soon as his condition was reported, he was isolated from the rest of the squad in the team hotel. We are constantly monitoring his condition and remain hopeful of his quick recovery; however he is not fit to travel with the squad and as such has been withdrawn from the touring party,” said team Doctor Sohail Saleem.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on Sunday, confirmed that Fakhar has a fever and he needs time to recover fully. The board said the decision to keep Fakhar out of the tour was made keeping the health of the rest of the squad members as a top priority.
“Fakhar has been isolated in the team hotel in Lahore as soon as his condition was detected and the PCB’s medical panel is now monitoring him,” a PCB official said. He also made it clear that since the team management had not asked for a replacement for Fakhar.
All the players and staff leaving for New Zealand on Monday underwent Covid-19 tests on Saturday and their reports come negative.
All the players and officials, on Monday, will leave for Auckland via Dubai and will remain in mandatory 14-day quarantine before being allowed to move out of a bio-secure bubble since New Zealand is a Covid free country.
Pakistan is scheduled to play two Test and three Twenty20 International matches with the hosts New Zealand. The Test series will form part of the inaugural 2019–21 ICC World Test Championship.