Pakistan cricket contingent heads to New Zealand on Monday comprising of 35 players and 15 support staff for a T20I and Test series next month where they will face fewer restrictions compared to the tour of England that Pakistan undertook earlier this year according to a report.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has not allowed families to accompany the players and officials of the 50 Pakistani strong contingent. Still, according to a report in the ‘Express Newspaper’, the visitors won’t face strict restrictions.
Pakistan And Hosts New Zealand Will Play 3 T20Is And 2 Tests
The report said that after reaching Auckland, the Pakistan contingent would be in a mandatory 14-day quarantine period. Pakistan plays three T20 internationals, and two Tests and the New Zealand cricket board has said that it is looking forward to allowing at least some crowds for the matches with the cooperation of its government. The series starts with T20Is on December 18 while the two Tests start on Boxing Day, 26th December.
In the initial quarantine period, players and support staff of Pakistan will spend three days alone in total isolation during which they will not be allowed to leave or meet each other. A COVID-19 test will be conducted on the fourth day after which groups of 15 individuals will be made, including both players and support staff members.
Members of these groups will live in their own separate areas and will not be allowed to interact with individuals of other groups for the remainder of their quarantine period. Once the quarantine period ends, another test will be conducted after which the players and officials will be free to roam around as they like.
In England, the players underwent more number of COVID-19 tests and also subsequently were in quarantine for a longer duration. They were tested after every five days during the England tour which saw 3 tests and 3 T20Is to happen.
Pakistan Cricket Board Made Intensions Clear Anyone Who Tests Positive Will Not Tour New Zealand
It was during the quarantine period that some West Indies players last month breached the COVID-19 protocols at their hotel leading to an extended isolation period and resulting in a severe backlash from the host cricket board New Zealand. The Pakistan Cricket Board is yet to announce the results of the COVID-19 tests that each player and official has given earlier after gathering at the team hotel in Lahore on Saturday.
But the board has made it clear that unlike the tour to England, this time anyone who tests positive will not be going to New Zealand. Before the tour to England in June, at least 10 players had tested positive for COVID-19 putting the tour in jeopardy and causing embarrassment to the board.
The Pakistan contingent for New Zealand, however, includes 35 players who will represent the national senior and A teams and 15 support staff personnel.
Babar Azam will lead the 35 man squad in all three formats, and the squad don’t include Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir and Asad Shafiq.