Pakistan cricket squad touring New Zealand has suffered a major setback as the country’s Health Ministry has denied permission to leave their hotel and start training.
New Zealand’s Health Ministry decided this after two more Pakistani players tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, taking the total tally of infected squad members to 10.
An official statement released by New Zealand’s Health Ministry reads:
Following careful consideration, the Director-General of Health has today confirmed that he will not be granting the exemption which would allow the Pakistan men’s cricket team to leave their hotel to train in groups while completing their time in managed isolation in Christchurch.
Public health considerations will continue to remain New Zealand’s paramount priority, whether this involves individuals or teams, the statement added.
Led by captain Babar Azam, the Pakistan team had landed in Christchurch on 24 November. The visitors are observing the two-week mandatory quarantine required by the New Zealand government and haven’t been able to train since then.
Pakistan is set to take on New Zealand in 2 Tests and 3 T20Is, with the tour set to formally begin with a T20I on 18 December.