Six members of the Pakistan cricket team on a tour of New Zealand have tested positive for coronavirus, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed on Thursday.
According to the reports, six Pakistani cricketers were tested positive for the coronavirus after authorities in New Zealand carried out tests on the suspected Pakistani players. The Pakistani cricket team is currently quarantining in Christchurch. The names of the infected cricketers have not been disclosed.
New Zealand’s health ministry said the players will now “be tested a minimum of four times while in managed isolation” and the entire squad would be confined to their rooms.
With Pakistani players testing positive for the Chinese virus, the exemption to train while in isolation has been put on hold for now. The six members of the squad will be moved to the quarantine arm of the managed isolation facility, NZC said in a statement.
The latest testing of Pakistani players has now thrown preparations for the five-match series into turmoil and has caused a scare in New Zealand, that has largely eradicated the virus.
Pakistan team breached quarantine protocols
Reportedly, all members of the 53-people squad had tested negative for Covid-19 before leaving Pakistan, this means that the infected players got the virus after reaching New Zealand. New Zealand Cricket has revealed that the latest positive results may have emerged after few members of the touring party breached the protocols on the first day of managed isolation.
“Separately, NZC has also been made aware that some members of the Pakistan team had contravened protocols on the first day of managed isolation. We will be having discussions with the tourists to assist them in understanding the requirements,” the NZ Cricket statement further added.
The New Zealand’s Minister of Health also issued a statement backing NZC, adding that CCTV footage is clear evidence of a few members contravening the protocols despite ‘clear instructions’.
“Several team members have been seen on CCTV at the facility breaching managed isolation rules, despite clear, consistent, and detailed communication of expected behaviours while in the facility,” the Ministry of Health said criticising the behaviour of Pakistani cricket players.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Director-General of Health has stated the Pakistan squad has been issued a final warning.
“It is a privilege to come to New Zealand to play sport, but in return, teams must stick to the rules that are designed to keep Covid-19 out of our communities and keep our staff safe,” he added.
The Canterbury District Health Board’s medical officer of health has now sent a letter to the squad’s management saying all team members must stay in their rooms until further advised.
A 53-member Pakistan Cricket is currently touring New Zealand, which includes 35 players. They will play three T20 matches and after that two ICC World Test Championship test matches against the host team. The first T20 match is scheduled on December 18.