The Pakistan cricket team has been issued ‘final warning’ by New Zealand to adhere COVID-19 protocols set by the authorities or else risk being sent back home. The ultimatum came after six Pakistani players tested positive for the virus upon their arrival.
New Zealand is among one of those countries which have gotten a grip over the coronavirus infection. The government, hence, is very strict when it comes to its protocols with regards to the containment of the virus.
A WhatsApp voice note was sent to the Pakistani players in New Zealand on Thursday where PCB CEO Wasim Khan said that he has been issued a ‘final warning’ by the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) as well as the New Zealand government over the breach of protocols by Pakistani players.
New Zealand authorities have also warned Pakistan that one more breach would see the entire team sent back home before the series has even started.
They have told me straight away that one more breach and they will send the whole team back,” Khan said in the two-minute message which was recorded in Urdu. He further told his players that if such a case happens, it would be really ’embarrassing’.
A closed-circuit television footage showed that the Pakistan squad breached the virus protocols on the first day of their arrival itself. In total, there have been 3-4 breaches already.
“They have zero tolerance and they have given us a final warning. I know it’s difficult times for you and it’s not easy. You have operated in similar conditions (playing) in England … it’s a matter of the country’s respect and credibility. Please observe 14 days, then you will get freedom in New Zealand to go out in restaurants and roam around, but please adhere to full protocols.”
Exemption to practice put on hold
As a result of the entire situation, the team’s exemption to practice upon arrival has been put on hold. Though in isolation, the players won’t be able to practice among themselves. NZC also said that the news of certain players testing positive for the virus is disappointing though the government protocols have worked well in containing the virus.
“Please guys, I know it’s difficult, it’s very tough, but do stay disciplined and follow through the protocols … they will not compromise on health and safety in New Zealand, so please adhere to it,” Khan further told his players.
Pakistan are scheduled to begin the bilateral series on December 18, starting with the T20I series, followed by two Tests.
Source: Times Now