Pakistan players have been mentally and physically affected due to regulations in New Zealand: Misbah-ul-Haq


Earlier, 8 Pakistan squad members tested positive for coronavirus in New Zealand and the authorities have barred them from training outdoors.

Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq worried about players in New Zealand. (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Misbah-ul-Haq worried about Pakistan players in New Zealand
  • 8 Pakistan players have tested positive since their arrival
  • Pakistan and New Zealand with play 3-match T20I series starting Dec 18

On Friday, December 4, Pakistan players in New Zealand were exempted from training outdoors after 8 positive cases of coronavirus occurred in the visitors’ camp. The 54-member squad that arrived in New Zealand last week were originally allowed to to train in small groups after the third day of their 14-day isolation period had they tested negative.

But the coronavirus positive test and an earlier breach of isolation protocols by visiting team members on their first day in isolation in New Zealand led to the government issuing a final warning to the touring Pakistan squad members.

On Sunday, Pakistan announced their 18-player squad for the upcoming 3-match T20I series between New Zealand and Pakistan. Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq is worried about Pakistan players in New Zealand being affected mentally and physically due to the strict regulations there.

“Top professional athletes require a certain environment to prepare so that they can perform at the minimum expected levels every time they represent their countries. While we completely respect and understand the New Zealand Government Laws, which have been put in place for the health and safety of their public, there is no denying the fact that the implementation of certain regulations has affected our athletes, both mentally and physically prior to an international series,” Misbah said on Sunday.

“Nonetheless, when we will leave the isolation facility in the next day or two, we will try to put all this behind us and focus on the challenge of facing New Zealand in both the formats. New Zealand are a formidable side in their conditions and their recent performances against the West Indies confirm why they are ranked second in Tests and just behind us in T20Is in sixth position.”

“New Zealand boasts some of the best cricket facilities, which are backed by supportive and appreciative crowds. I want my players to make optimum use of the upcoming opportunities by expressing themselves by playing fearlessly every time they take the field. All the players have our backing and support, and all they now need to show is how much believe, faith and trust they have in their own capabilities,” he added.

The 1st T20I will be held at the Eden Park in Auckland on December 18 and Sarfaraz Ahmed, Hussain Talat have been recalled by PCB.



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