Two days after being warned by the New Zealand Cricket Board and the government for flouting Coronavirus protocols, which led to 6 Pakistani players being diagnosed with the deadly virus, it has been reported that another Pakistani cricketer has tested positive for the virus. As such, a total of 7 players out of 53-man Pakistani contingent have been diagnosed with the disease.
“One additional member of the Pakistan cricket squad has today tested positive. The remainder of the results from the squad’s day-three swab testing, apart from the six who have already returned a positive result, is negative,” the Health Ministry confirmed on Saturday. The team has been confined to a hotel in Christchurch and the players have been stopped from further training. They have also been barred from stepping outside their hotel. However, with the new development, the fate of the bilateral series between New Zealand and Pakistani now remains shrouded in obscurity.
New Zealand issues final warning to PCB
Earlier yesterday, PCB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wasim Khan said that the New Zealand cricket board has given the Pakistan cricket team a “final warning” to strictly follow coronavirus safety guidelines. The board, according to Khan, said that 3-4 coronavirus SOPs were broken by Pakistani players after which 6 players tested positive for the contagion. Khan said New Zealand has a “zero tolerance” policy towards violation of COVID-19 protocols.
He added that the New Zealand Cricket has also said that the entire Pakistan squad will be sent back home if there are any other violations. Khan estimates if this happens, it would be a big embarrassment for Pakistan cricket and which is why their margin of error is zero.“It’s not easy. But this is a matter of the nation’s respect and credibility. Observe these 14 days and then you’ll have the freedom to go to restaurants and roam about freely. They have told me in clear terms that if we commit one more breach, they’ll send us home,” he said. The New Zealand’s Minister of Health had also issued a statement backing NZC, adding that CCTV footage is clear evidence of a few members contravening the protocols despite ‘clear instructions’.