The New Zealand government on Friday appreciated the improved ‘isolation’ behavior of the Pakistan cricket team, in their bio-secure facility at Christchurch, just a day after the government had issued a strict warning on flouting COVID-19 SOPs, reported Arab News Pakistan.
The strong reaction of the New Zealand government came after six of the total of 53 members of the Pakistani squad had tested positive for COVID-19 among fears of more testing positive in the coming days.
“Since the team was issued with a warning, compliance with MIQ (managed isolation and quarantine) rules in the facility has significantly improved,” it said in a statement on Friday.
“We thank members of the team for their co-operation with the case investigations following the announcement of positive cases within the team. “Co-operation and compliance are critical in ensuring New Zealand is kept safe from Covid-19.”
The positive test results came after the hosts conducted tests upon the arrival of the team to New Zealand. All the arrivals will have to undergo 14 days of isolation.
Now the health officials of New Zealand are conducting the interviews of the members of the Pakistani squad, while temporarily restricting them from training.
Anyone considered to be in close contact with the infected individuals will not be allowed to train.
Read more: Pakistan cricket team leaves for England tour as virus gets out of hand
Strict warning to Pakistan Cricket Team
The strict warning from New Zealand had triggered a powerful warning from Pakistan Sports Board CEO, Wasim Khan, for players. He was told by the New Zealand government that one more breach of COVID-19 SOPs by the team and management staff would result in the deportation of the entire traveling party.
“Boys, I spoke to the New Zealand government and they told us there were three or four breaches of protocols,” Wasim Khan said in the voice note. “They have a zero-tolerance policy and they’ve given us a final warning. We understand that this is a difficult time for you, and you went through similar conditions in England. 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.”
Shoaib Akhtar slams New Zealand
Earlier, Shoaib Akhtar had strongly reacted to the news of the restrictions placed by New Zealand after 6 officials had tested positive for coronavirus.
“I want to give a message to New Zealand board (NZC) that this is not a club team, it’s Pakistan national cricket team,” Shoaib said on his YouTube channel.
Irresponsible from Rawalpindi Express,
Instead of Encouraging Pakistan Cricket Team to follow SOP's he is Asking PCB to Behave Arrogant
— Mobeen Raza (@mobeen_r007) November 27, 2020
So you want to act irresponsible in someone else's country, not follow their rules and regulations and you expect to get away without any warning. LOL. That's not how it works
— Ahsan 🇵🇰 (@AftabSahab_) November 26, 2020
“We don’t need you. You are talking about Pakistan — the greatest country on the planet — so behave yourself and stop giving such statements. Be careful next time.”
Read more: Shoaib Akhter reprimanded Indian journalist for mocking Pakistan cricket team
“New Zealand Cricket is getting the money for broadcasting rights, we won’t get anything, so they should be indebted to us that we have gone over to New Zealand at such a tough time and are doing this tour for you,” Akhtar said.
Cmon shoaib, you are making it more complex. Its our team that needs to be put in discipline.
— Faheem Khan Suri (@fk8167) November 27, 2020
— Azhar Saleem Khagga (@azhar_khagga) November 26, 2020
Akhtar received flak on social media for slamming the government of New Zealand. They argued that instead of defending themselves, the players should rectify their mistakes. A lot of Twitter users had disapproved of Akhtar’s rash statements against New Zealand.
GVS News Desk