Cricket

New Zealand vs Pakistan: Babar Azam, Misbah-ul-Haq convince PCB to avoid pullout amidst COVID-19 chaos

  • Press Trust of India
  • December 4th, 2020
  • 23:35:27 IST

Karachi: Pakistan captain Babar Azam and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq on Friday managed to convince the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to continue with the tour in New Zealand even as the PCB pondered over different options, including calling the squad back home, according to sources.

A well-placed source in the Board told PTI that PCB CEO Wasim Khan discussed various options with Babar and Misbah after the New Zealand Health Ministry denied the right to train while in managed isolation after eight members of the touring squad tested positive for COVID-19.

"Yes, PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani and Wasim 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 said.

The Pakistan Cricket Board is yet to announce the results of the COVID-19 tests that each player and official has given after gathering at the team hotel in Lahore on Saturday. AFP

File image of Pakistan all-formats captain Babar Azam. AFP

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.

According to the source, Wasim at one stage asked Babar and Misbah whether the players felt the tour should be called off in the given conditions.

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," the source said.

"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, he said.

New Zealand health officials on Friday refused to lift a ban on Pakistan's team training during quarantine as the touring party's number of infections climbed to 10.

A top health official said given the circumstances, the risk of further infections was great if the players are allowed to start training.

Until now, 10 members of the touring squad have tested positive with six of them being active cases and four historical cases.

The touring squad will complete a 14-day quarantine period on 8 December.

Updated Date: December 04, 2020 23:35:27 IST

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