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Thursday Nov 26 2020

Pakistan team given 'final warning' by New Zealand cricket board: Wasim Khan

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Executive Officer Wasim Khan. — AFP

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Executive Officer Wasim Khan on Thursday said that the New Zealand cricket board has given the Pakistan cricket team a "final warning" to adhere to coronavirus safety guidelines.

The board, according to Khan, has claimed that three to four standard operating procedures (SOPs) were violated by Pakistani cricketers, following which six tested positive for coronavirus.

Khan said that the New Zealand government has a "zero tolerance policy" towards violation of coronavirus safety protocols.

"(I know) it is a difficult time, it won't be easy for you all," he said in a message intended for the cricketers. "(But) this concerns the prestige and integrity of the country. Please follow coronavirus safety protocols for the next 14 days."

He said that the board has warned that any further violation of SOPs would result in the Pakistan cricket team being sent back home. "If the team is sent back home, it will be a huge embarrassment for the entire country," he said.

In a final warning to the players, he reiterated that the New Zealand government will not compromise on the issue of health.

Six players test positive

Six players of the Pakistan team that travelled to New Zealand have tested positive for the coronavirus, the country's cricket board had revealed earlier today.

"NZC was made aware today that six members of the Pakistan touring squad, currently in managed isolation in Christchurch, have tested positive for COVID-19," said the board in a statement.

The board said that two out of the six were cases of reinfection, while the other four were marked as "new". It added that following the test results the six individuals will be moved to the "quarantine arm of the managed isolation facility".

"The Pakistan team’s exemption to train while in managed isolation has been put on hold until investigations have been completed," said the board following the test results.

It is important to mention that the squad had tested negative four times before leaving Lahore.

The New Zealand cricket board said that some members of the 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," said the board.

Pakistan will play three T20Is and two Test matches in New Zealand next month. On the sidelines, Pakistan Shaheens will also play two 4-day games against New Zealand A on the tour.