Shoaib Akhtar is fuming at New Zealand Cricket after the visiting Pakistan team was given a “final warning” to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols or their tour will be called off. Six Pakistan cricketers tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan told his team that there have been three-four breaches of protocols and if they commit another one, they will be sent back home. Commenting on NZC’s tour call off warning, the former Pakistan pacer said their comments were below the belt.
New Zealand Health on Thursday said the players will now “be tested a minimum of four times while in managed isolation” and the entire squad would be confined to their rooms.
New Zealand Health also revealed that “several team members have been seen on CCTV at the facility breaching managed isolation rules, despite clear, consistent and detailed communication of expected behaviours”.
“The team as a whole has been issued with a final warning,” it said.
“I want to tell this to New Zealand and their cricket board that this is not a club team, it is Pakistan’s national team. How can you send out such a statement that you will call off the tour? We don’t need you; our cricket is not finished and we are not desperate for money,” Shoaib Akhtar said.
The 45-year-old former cricketer also said that New Zealand Cricket should be indebted to Pakistan team for coming to their country to play in such testing times.
“The money from broadcasting rights will go to you, not us. So, you should be indebted to us for coming to play in these testing times,” the former pacer added.
Upset with the warning being thrown at Pakistan team for not adhering to Standard Operating Procedures, Shoaib Akhtar asked NZC to stop giving such statements.
“You are talking about Pakistan, so behave yourself and stop giving this sort of statements. Be careful of what you say, next time,” he added.
The Pakistan team is in New Zealand where they are scheduled to play three Twenty20 Internationals and two Test matches.
Pakistan’s tour is scheduled to kick off with the first T20I that will be played in Auckland on December 18.
(With AFP inputs)
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