WELLINGTON (Dunya News) – Six members of Pakistan’s touring squad have tested positive for COVID-19, New Zealand Cricket confirmed Thursday, throwing preparations for the series into turmoil.
“Two of these six results have been deemed “historical”; four have been confirmed as new,” New Zealand Cricket said.
“This means that, in line with the protocols governing the squad’s entry into New Zealand, the six members of the squad will be moved to the quarantine arm of the managed isolation facility.
“As a consequence, the Pakistan team’s exemption to train while in managed isolation has been put on hold until investigations have been completed.
“Prior to leaving Lahore, all members of the Pakistan touring squad returned negative results on the four occasions they were tested.
“Separately, NZC has also been made aware that some members of the Pakistan team had contravened protocols on the first day of managed isolation. We will be having discussions with the tourists to assist them in understanding the requirements.”
New Zealand health authorities revoked the Pakistan players’ ability to train while in isolation at their Christchurch hotel, making clear they would not tolerate risky behaviour in a country that has largely eradicated the virus.
Ashley Bloomfield, director-general of New Zealand health, said in a statement, “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.”
The West Indies cricket team were also reprimanded by New Zealand health authorities for similar breaches earlier this month when they were in managed isolation.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) tasked national cricket team head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and manager Mansoor Rana to keep players under surveillance following the COVID-19 protocol breach in New Zealand.
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan has summoned details of players who committed violations and gave final warning that if any individual is found involved in any irresponsibly activity, he will be called back to Pakistan.
Wasim Khan issued a video message for the players to not only take care of their own health, but to also protect the national pride. The governing body has taken action after final warning to Pakistan by New Zealand Cricket regarding the protocol breach.
With inputs from New Zealand Cricket/ AFP