Pakistan cricketers have been told by Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan that the entire touring party will be sent home from New Zealand should there be a further breach of COVID-19 protocol. The development comes after six cricketers from Pakistan tested positive for the coronavirus and reports of protocol breaches by them trickling in.Also Read - Price of Corbevax Covid-19 Vaccine Slashed to Rs 250 Per Dose. Deets Inside
In a WhatsApp audio message, Khan informed Pakistan cricketers that there have been three or four breaches and a final warning has been issued by the New Zealand government. Also Read - 28 Students Test COVID Positive At IIM Calcutta Campus, 58 Others Kept In Home Isolation
“Boys, I spoke to the New Zealand government and they told us there were three or four breaches of protocols,” Khan was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “They have a zero-tolerance policy and they’ve given us a final warning. We understand that this is a difficult time for you, and you went through similar conditions in England. It’s not easy. But this is a matter of the nation’s respect and credibility. Observe these 14 days and then you’ll have the freedom to go to restaurants and roam about freely. They have told me in clear terms that if we commit one more breach, they’ll send us home.” Also Read - This Country Could Witness 16 Lakh COVID Deaths If Restrictions Are Lifted: Study
Sarfaraz Ahmed, Rohail Nazir, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Abid Ali and Danish Aziz are the six cricketers who have tested positive for the deadly virus.
According to Dr Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand’s director-general of health, few Pakistan cricketers mingled in the hallways, chatted, shared food, avoided wearing masks and didn’t stay in their rooms which is a requirement for the first three days.
“I don’t know how many times they did that, but it only needs once for us to take a dim view of it. These players signed up to the arrangements in an undertaking that made what was expected of them very clear. At the moment, they are all required to be in their rooms, which was the requirement anyway. The training exemption would not have kicked in until after we had the results of the day-three testing, if we were happy with the results,” Bloomfield told RNZ.
As per PCB, no all members of the Pakistan travelling party tested negative before departing for New Zealand in a chartered flight for their upcoming tour during which they will play three T20Is and two Tests.
However, after landing six players have tested positive and been moved to an isolation facility.
Because of the breaches, Pakistan cricketers will not be allowed to train and their quarantine period has been reset.