Final warning from Pakistan Cricket Board to team on tour in New Zealand

FILE - Pakistan's Junaid Khan (C) celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of England's Jonny Bairstow (unseens) during the third One Day International (ODI) cricket match between England and Pakistan at The Bristol County Ground in Bristol on May 14, 2019. (AFP)
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Updated 27 November 2020

Final warning from Pakistan Cricket Board to team on tour in New Zealand

  • Warns players to obey COVID-19 protocols or the whole squad risks being sent home
  • Six Pakistani players have tested positive for the coronavirus in New Zealand 

ISLAMABAD: The chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board has warned players on tour in New Zealand to obey COVID-19 protocols or the whole team risks being sent home.
In a WhatsApp voice note sent to Pakistan players on Thursday, Wasim Khan said he was given a “final warning” by both New Zealand Cricket and its government after six Pakistan players tested positive for the coronavirus on arriving in the country.
“They have told me straightaway that one more breach and they will send the whole team back,” Khan said in the two-minute message, recorded in the Urdu language, adding “it will be embarrassing” if this happens.
Closed-circuit television footage showed some members of the Pakistan squad had contravened protocols on the first day of managed isolation.
“They also said there were three to four breaches of protocols,” Khan said.
“They have zero tolerance and they have given us a final warning. I know it’s difficult times for you and it’s not easy. You have operated in similar conditions (playing) in England ... it’s a matter of the country’s respect and credibility. Please observe 14 days, then you will get freedom in New Zealand to go out in restaurants and roam around, but please adhere to full protocols.”
The Pakistan team’s exemption to practice while in managed isolation will be withheld until an investigation has been completed. All players were tested four times before their departure from Lahore to New Zealand and were negative on each occasion.
New Zealand Cricket said while the positive cases were disappointing, their early discovery showed government protocols around touring teams are working.
“Please guys, I know it’s difficult, it’s very tough, but do stay disciplined and follow through the protocols … they will not compromise on health and safety in New Zealand, so please adhere to it,” Khan told his players.
Pakistan is scheduled to play three Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand, starting on Dec. 18, followed by two test matches.
The six players have been moved from managed isolation into quarantine.
Two of the six cases were described as “historical” and four were new. The Pakistan touring group, including 53 players and officials, was tested after arriving Tuesday. All six positive cases were being moved to the quarantine arm of the isolation facility.


Pakistani Twitter rejoices as archrival India beats Australia in cricket win for the ages

Updated 19 January 2021

Pakistani Twitter rejoices as archrival India beats Australia in cricket win for the ages

  • Pakistan and India are political foes and have one of the most intense sports rivalries in the world
  • Tuesday’s win by India was unequivocally cheered by Pakistani cricket fans who called it “one of the greatest test match wins of all time”

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani social media users rejoiced on Tuesday as India bagged an incredible three-wicket win in the fourth test decider against Australia.

India’s Rishabh Pant timed his innings to perfection, ramping up the aggression in a stellar 89 as India stormed to a record 328-run chase at the Gabba and became the first team to beat the hosts at the Brisbane stronghold since the West Indies in 1988.

Pakistan and India are political archrivals and fierce opponents in the cricket field. But Tuesday’s win was unequivocally cheered by Pakistani cricket fans on Twitter, who called it one of “the greatest test series and test match wins of all time.”

“From 36 all out in the same series to winning it on Australia soil. Wow,” former cricketer and fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar wrote.

“Investing in your players, giving them financial security, protecting them, giving them exposure, having A team tours is eventually bound to pay off. Well done India,” said cricket manager Rehan ulHaq.

“India basically pulled off one of the greatest test series and test match wins of all time,” said Uzair Younus, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. “To win Down Under [Australia] is an achievement on its own. But to do it when several first-team players are out injured is a whole new level of achievement. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.”

“Given results, their injuries, and lack thereof of the home side, this Indian team is probably the greatest from South Asia to tour Australia,” said Umair Javed, an assistant professor at LUMS, Pakistan’s most prestigious private university.

“Cricket is the winner (and Australia the loser),” Javed said in another tweet.

“What a fight back by Indian cricket team in the series, they’ve played quality cricket. From 36-all out in first test to 2-1 up. Commendable. Love and respect from Pakistan,” Twitter user Taliha said, posting one of thousands of tweets praising the Indian team’s performance.

“Tremendous cricket by Indians,” Haider Rasool wrote. “Love from Pakistan.”

One Indian Twitter user posted: “Thank you Pakistan. Today’s win is ever more special because of support from neighbor.”

Strained relations between the two nations, who were one country before the partition of British India split them into India and Pakistan in 1947, and a decades-long dispute over the Himalayan valley of Kashmir conflict, has laid the foundations of one of the most intense sports rivalries in the world.

Pakistan and Indian have not played a bilateral Test series since 2008 when already brittle ties were shattered by the Mumbai terror attacks.