Karachi: Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani has ruled out any danger to Pakistan's present tour of New Zealand despite three more members of the 54-strong visiting squad testing positive for COVID-19, and earlier breaches of the host country's coronavirus protocols.
In an interview to Dawn News television channel, Mani said he respected any concerns raised by the New Zealand government and authorities after seven players of the Pakistan team earlier tested positive for COVID-19 soon after arrival there, but insisted there is no danger to the series.
Yes there have been a few minor breaches which occurred as soon as the team reached their hotel and were perhaps still unsure about the COVID-19 protocols and were asking questions. But they have now been advised to be careful to adhere to the protocols of the New Zealand government, he said.
Whatever has happened there, the series will not be affected and will go ahead on schedule. Yes we would like our players to get permission to start training soon so that they don't go into the T20 series short on preparation or acclimatisation, Mani said.
He said the players and officials are strictly following the isolation facility protocols now.
Mani also noted that people should understand and give some thought to the players as they had just reached New Zealand after a nearly 22-hour journey.
The PCB chief also said he wouldn't comment or speculate on the results of the COVID-19 tests which will continue before the players get permission to start training.
On Tuesday, the New Zealand health authorities said after a fresh round of tests while 43 members of the touring squad had returned negative results, three had tested positive and one result was awaited.
But they made it clear they are still investigating if the new positive cases were historical ones or new ones.
Mani said the PCB is constantly in touch with New Zealand cricket and is having discussions on allowing cricketers with negative results to start nets.
To a question, he also said the PCB had shared the outcomes of all the 55 tests conducted by one of the most reputed and credible laboratories in Pakistan with the New Zealand government and they were satisfied.
We are going to investigate as to how some of the touring squad members got positive results and where they potentially could have got the virus but it is anticipated transmission could have taken place during the journey and the isolation facility.
We are also investigating which players were first infected and how it was transmitted to others, he said.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
PCB's decision meant that around 19,000 fans could go to the National Stadium to see the country’s premier Twenty20 cricket league.
Umar Akmal was initially banned for three years from all cricket activities last year for not reporting approaches made to him for spot-fixing in PSL. The Court of Arbitration for Sports has reduced the ban to 12 months.
Although the Board of Governers have a long agenda to deal with one of the main items is giving an extension to Wasim Khan, who has also expressed his interest in continuing as CEO.