Since the cricket team arrived in New Zealand last month, 10 players have tested positive for COVID, forcing authorities to impose quarantine.
Pakistani cricketers say they have been “mentally and physically” affected by New Zealand’s strict COVID-19 protocols, which have kept the players locked in their quarantine hotel for nearly two weeks.
Coach Misbah-ul-Haq said the team looked forward to emerging from managed isolation, with New Zealand Cricket saying the latest viral tests all came back negative and they should be allowed out on Tuesday.
Since the team of more than 50 players and officials arrived last month, 10 have tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing New Zealand health officials to withdraw the team’s permission to train in such a way isolated.
At the start of their stay, several team members were caught mingling at their four-star quarantine hotel in Christchurch, in violation of managed isolation rules.
“Top professional athletes need a certain environment to prepare themselves so that they can perform at the minimum expected level whenever they represent their country,” Misbah said in a statement.
He said Pakistan “respects and understands” health and safety regulations, but “it cannot be denied that the implementation of certain regulations has affected our athletes, both mentally and physically prior to a series. international ”.
All overseas arrivals to New Zealand must spend two weeks in quarantine, with sports teams returning negative tests after three days have been allowed to train together in isolation.
On Friday, 10 days after the Pakistani team arrived, New Zealand health officials said “lingering concerns” about the risk of new infections meant their training ban could not be lifted.
“I want to commend my players and the management team for their patience, sacrifices and the hardships they endured in ensuring not only the safe resumption of international cricket during the COVID-19 pandemic … but also to try to give the best of themselves every time they walk on the pitch, ”said Misbah.
New Zealand Cricket said negative tests meant the touring group would be allowed out of isolation on Tuesday, pending approval from the health department, to prepare for their first Twenty20 match against the Black Caps on December 18 .
The New Zealand Ministry of Health declined to confirm the team’s latest test results.