Karachi: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani has stated that they totally regard New Zealand Cricket and their government’s concern over COVID-19 positives and protocols’ breaches but it was revealed openly without providing any context.
Mani believes that the squad deserved a bit of grace period as it was a 22-hour journey from Lahore to Christchurch with two stopovers.
“We respect their concern after seven of our players tested positive for Covid-19. Separately, there were a few minor breaches immediately upon the side’s arrival in New Zealand which have been made public without providing any context,” Mani said in an interview with Dawn.
“The breaches mentioned by the NZC and New Zealand’s health director happened at a time when the players were checking-in the isolation facility. During that period, they interacted with each other, asked general questions such as prayer area etc, but no major breach occurred. Nevertheless, breaches have taken place and there is no hiding behind any excuses.” he added.
Mani has denied that there is any major danger to the tour after the incident. “Despite these, I don’t think there is any danger to the series as our players are strictly following the isolation facility protocols,” he maintained.
He revealed that PCB is in contact with the NZC to allow the non-infected players to train as soon as possible.
“I can’t comment and speculate about the outcomes of next test results, but we are in discussions with the NZC about allowing our other cricketers to resume match preparation and get on the field as we don’t want our team to enter the T20I series underprepared,” disclosed Mani.
Mani further added that they are investigating how players caught the virus but it is likely that this happened somewhere between Lahore and the isolation facility.
It must be noted that six members of the 54-member contingent in New Zealand were tested positive while there have been breaches on the first day of isolation. The entire squad has received ‘final warning’ from New Zealand.