Pak v sNZ: Sarfaraz Ahmed, Naseem Shah among six players tested positive for coronavirus


 Former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed is among the six players who have tested positive for the coronavirus in New Zealand, sources told Daily Jang.

According to informed sources, Test fast bowlers Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas have also tested positive for the coronavirus. The report added that Pakistan Shaheens skipper Rohail Nazir, Danish Aziz and opener Abid Ali have also been tested positive for the virus.

Earlier, New Zealand Cricket had stated that two players out of the six had a history of the coronavirus. All the six were tested at least four times.

Sources informed Jang that the squad had violated the coronavirus protocol twice within 12 hours after landing in the country.

The first incident was reported when the players did not wear a mask when receiving their food tray. While the other incident, that was also caught on camera, showed that players were talking to each other with the door open.

‘Final warning’

A day earlier, PCB Chief Executive Officer Wasim Khan 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 had tested positive for the coronavirus, the country’s cricket board had revealed on Thursday.

“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.

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