Christchurch: Pakistan men’s team head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has admitted that players of the Pakistan squad have been affected badly due to some of New Zealand’s government regulations.
In a statement released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) while announcing the national team and Shaheens’ squad, Misbah applauded players and support staff for staying committed during these unprecedented times of COVID-19 since the England tour.
“I want to compliment my players and the management team for their patience, sacrifices and the hardships they have endured to ensure they not only lead the safe resumption of international cricket during the Covid-19 pandemic since the series in England but also try to give their best every time they step on the field,” said Misbah.
“Top professional athletes require a certain environment to prepare so that they can perform at the minimum expected levels every time they represent their countries. While we completely respect and understand the New Zealand Government Laws, which have been put in place for the health and safety of their public, there is no denying the fact that the implementation of certain regulations has affected our athletes, both mentally and physically prior to an international series,” he added.
However, Misbah is confident that his players will be ready to face the Kiwis as their isolation period is about to end in few days.
“Nonetheless, when we will leave the isolation facility in the next day or two, we will try to put all this behind us and focus on the challenge of facing New Zealand in both the formats. New Zealand are a formidable side in their conditions,” he maintained.
“New Zealand boasts some of the best cricket facilities, which are backed by supportive and appreciative crowds. I want my players to make optimum use of the upcoming opportunities by expressing themselves by playing fearlessly every time they take the field. All the players have our backing and support, and all they now need to show is how much believe, faith and trust they have in their own capabilities,” he added.
Meanwhile, the 46-year-old said that most of the players for T20Is have been retained as they are playing together for some time now.
It must be noted that the Pakistan squad is not allowed to train during managed isolation and quarantine after 10 members of the 53-member contingent tested positive for COVID-19.