Pakistan cricketers issued “final warning” by New Zealand authorities: Here’s why they risk being sent back

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Updated: Nov 27, 2020 5:49 PM

After landing in New Zealand on Tuesday, the Pakistan squad is on a 14-day quarantine after which they'll be free to leave the isolation.

Pakistan squad on their arrival in Christchurch, New Zealand (Courtesy: Twitter / TheRealPCB)

Pakistani cricketers were given a “final warning” by New Zealand authorities after six players tested positive for Coronavirus and three or four breaches of protocol were reported from the Pakistan camp in New Zealand, reports said.

New Zealand’s Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield was quoted by the local news source stuff.co.nz as saying that the Pakistan team had been given a final warning and told to follow the established COVID-19 protocols. She was quoted saying that the teams must follow the rules that have been put in place to keep Coronavirus out of the communities. A “final warning” had been issued to the entire Pakistan team, she confirmed.

Calling the incident an “embarrassment”, PCB CEO Wasim Khan stepped in and warned the Pakistani players that they would be sent back home if the protocol was breached again, ESPNCricinfo reported. In a message to the squad’s WhatsApp group Khan said that the issue was a “matter of national pride and credibility”. He urged the players to observe the period of isolation after which they would be “free to visit restaurants and hotels”.

Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, however, retorted to the warning issued by the New Zealand authorities in a video, and said that this wasn’t a “club team” that the NZ authorities were warning, but the Pak national cricket team. In a rant Shoaib went onto criticize Kiwi authorities saying they would be the ones getting the “broadcast rights money” and Pakistan cricket wasn’t “desperate for money”.

The Pakistan cricket team is in New Zealand for a tour consisting 3 ODIs and two Test matches, and are scheduled to be playing two tour matches beginning December 10. After landing in New Zealand on Tuesday, the visitors are on a 14-day quarantine after which they’ll be free to leave the isolation.

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