7th Pakistan cricket team member tests positive for COVID-19

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New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson speaks following six positive COVID-19 tests in Pakistan squad according to NZ Cricket, in this still frame taken from video. (TVNZ/Handout via REUTERS TV)
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An exterior view of a COVID-19 isolation quarantine facility at the DoubleTree by Hilton, in Christchurch, New Zealand in this still frame taken from video on Nov. 26, 2020. (TVNZ/Handout via REUTERS TV)
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Updated 28 November 2020

7th Pakistan cricket team member tests positive for COVID-19

  • Six members of the 53-member squad tested positive on Tuesday when the team arrived in New Zealand from Pakistan
  • Under New Zealand rules, people in managed isolation generally are tested on the third and 12th days of the isolation period

WELLINGTON, New Zealand: A seventh member of the Pakistan cricket team in New Zealand has tested positive for COVID-19 and will join other infected teammates in quarantine.
Six members of the 53-member squad tested positive on Tuesday when the team arrived in New Zealand from Pakistan and began its compulsory 14-day stay in managed isolation. The seventh member tested positive Friday when players and officials again were tested on the third day of their isolation period.
Under New Zealand rules, people in managed isolation generally are tested on the third and 12th days of the isolation period. The new infection was reported Saturday by New Zealand’s ministry of health in its daily update of COVID cases.
“One additional member of the Pakistan cricket squad has today tested positive during routine testing,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement. “The remainder of the results from the squad’s day 3 swab testing — apart from the six who have already returned a positive result — are negative.”
People who test positive while in isolation can be held beyond the usual 14-day period.
The Pakistan team has already received a final warning from the health ministry after players breached protocols on their first day in isolation. The ministry said closed-circuit television footage from the team’s Christchurch hotel showed squad members mingling in corridors and sharing food.
An exemption which would have allowed team members to train in small groups after their third day in isolation has been revoked. But will be reviewed later if no further breaches occur. Players and team management are required to stay in their rooms for the first three days of the isolation period.
New Zealand’s director general of health, Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, said he took a “dim view” of the team’s failure to obey the regulations which had been clearly spelled out to team members on their arrival. Further breaches might lead to the team being expelled from New Zealand.
“Rather than being in their own rooms which is a requirement for that first three days, until that first test comes back, there was some mingling in the hallways, chatting, sharing food and not wearing masks,” Bloomfield said.
A wider outbreak among squad members would also be a serious issue which might put the tour in jeopardy. Pakistan is due to play New Zealand in three Twenty20 internationals and two test matches. The first T20 will take place on Dec. 18 and the tests are the main features of New Zealand’s domestic summer.
On Friday, the health ministry said the team’s conduct had “significantly improved” after the warning was issued.
“We thank members of the team for their co-operation with the case investigations following the announcement of positive cases within the team,” the Ministry said. “Co-operation and compliance are critical in ensuring New Zealand is kept safe from COVID-19.”


Al-Sharbatly wins Saudi National Guard showjumping competition

Abdullah Al-Sharbatly with the trophy. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 29 min 50 sec ago

Al-Sharbatly wins Saudi National Guard showjumping competition

  • The three-day competition was squeezed into two days due to heavy rain in Jeddah
  • About 130 horses were registered in the competition, which consisted of nine rounds, with three rounds each day

JEDDAH: Abdullah Al-Sharbatly on Saturday won the Saudi National Guard Ministry’s showjumping cup finale, which was held at the Jeddah Trio Ranch.

He received the cup from Brig. Gen. Saad Al-Ahmari, head of public relations at the Ministry of National Guards, Western Sector. He also received a cash prize of SR8,450 ($2,747) for securing first place.

Al-Sharbatly completed the show in 40:27 seconds on his horse Larry with a penalty-free score. 

Khaled Al-Mobty came second after finishing the show in 44:89 seconds, also with no penalties. He received a cash prize of SR7,150. 

Faisal Aba Al-Khail came third after ending the show in 43:33 seconds with 12 penalties.

Hasan Mohammed Al-Hadi came top in the beginners first round, followed by Khaled Mushait and Mishaal Al-Qahtani.

Mostafa Kanaan came first in the under-15 show round, followed by Oufi Rizq and Abdul -Majeed Hathir.

Khalid Al-Hadi won first place in the open round. Mohammed Bakaram came second and he was followed by Abdullah Ibrahim.

The three-day competition, which started on Thursday, was squeezed into two days due to heavy rain in Jeddah. 

It was held without spectators due to coronavirus restrictions and was organized by the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation, in partnership with the Ministry of National Guard and the Diriyah Gate Development Authority. Around SR130,000 in cash prizes were allocated for the winners of all classes.

The competition consisted of nine rounds, with three rounds each day. About 130 horses were registered in the competition. The fences were set at 1.15 meters for the small grade, with about 80 riders competing on the first day.

Almost 40 equestrians took part in the 1.20m-1.25m medium grade. Another 20 competitors battled it out in the 1.30m-1.35m grade on the first day of competition.