NZ v PAK 2020-21: Babar Azam, Misbah-ul-Haq convince PCB to continue the tour as board mulls various options

PCB mulls various options after New Zealand denied for training in isolation.

Pakistan Cricket Board was thinking to call team back  | PCB

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was mulling over different options, including calling the national squad back home after New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and New Zealand Health Ministry denied allowing the touring party to train while being in managed isolation in Christchurch.

New Zealand health officials on Friday (December 4) refused to allow Pakistan's team to train during quarantine considering the fact that the COVID-19 infections climbed to 10 in the touring party citing the risk of further infections was great if the players are allowed to start training.

So far, 10 members of the Pakistan squad have tested positive for COVID-19 with six of them being active cases and four historical cases, the PCB pointed out the fact that the rest of the 44 members were returned negative in the latest round of the testing and they should be allowed to train in isolation.

But both NZC and Health Ministry are not in the mood to allow Pakistan for training until they complete a 14-day quarantine period on December 8 having arrived in New Zealand on November 24 – which prompted the PCB to ask their captain Babar Azam and head coach Misbah whether the tour should be called off. They are slated to play 3 T20Is and 2 Tests from December 18 till January 7 next year.

Read Also: NZ v PAK 2020-21: Pakistan team denied training exemption after 8 players test COVID-19 positive 

However, Babar and Mishab somehow managed to convince the PCB to continue with the tour in New Zealand by saying they would manage to have enough practice in 10 days’ time there.

A close PCB source told PTI: “Yes, PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani and CEO Wasim Khan were disappointed that the New Zealand Board and health ministry didn’t uphold an understanding that the 44 members of the touring squad who had again tested negative for COVID-19 would be allowed to start training in isolation.”

The source further added, “Wasim sent a strong-worded email to the New Zealand authorities expressing his unhappiness and disappointment at the developments and also the fact that the New Zealand health ministry didn’t mention that 44 members of the squad had again tested negative in tests conducted on Thursday.

But Babar and Misbah both told Wasim that while the players were obviously disappointed at still not getting clearance to start training in isolation but they believed that the series must go on after already spending so much time in quarantine/isolation.”

He concluded, “Babar and Misbah assured Wasim that the players are managing and they would still have around nine to 10 days before they play the first T20 International against New Zealand.”

(With PTI Inputs)


By Rashmi Nanda - 05 Dec, 2020

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