On Friday, the New Zealand’s Ministry of Health said that the Pakistan cricket team will not be able to train in an isolation facility in Christchurch as several members of the squad tested positive for COVID-19.
Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said “I have very carefully considered this situation and at this time, I continue to have ongoing concerns about the risk of cross-infection within the squad.
“There have been a number of active cases identified among the team. Public health considerations will continue to be foremost in our response to COVID-19, whether this involves individuals or teams.
“We appreciate the challenges that this decision will have for the touring team.”
In a statement issued by the board, Wasim Khan, the PCB CEO, termed this move as disappointing. He has also questioned why the 44 players who tested negative are not being allowed to practice. He also showed his disappointment on the fact that positive cases were reported immediately while negative ones were not.
Wasim Khan has also asked the team management and players whether they want to continue the tour keeping in mind the lack of practice. Currently, the squad is pretty confident of playing cricket in New Zealand.
“Players have passed the difficult phase and are eager to get back on the field but it was important to take their opinion considering the situation,” said PCB Director Media Sami Burney.
Under the previous guideline, squad could have started training together from the fourth day of their mandatory 14-day isolation but due to the positive cases the Health Ministry suspended the exemption.
Last week, the squad was also warned about the violations of the social distancing protocols.
The tourists are due to play three Twenty20 internationals and two tests from December 18, while a Pakistan ‘A’ tour will also be held concurrently.