Pakistan team denied exemption to train while in isolation in New Zealand

The Pakistan men’s cricket team have been denied the exemption to leave their hotel and train in groups while completing their time in managed isolation after several members of the touring side tested positive for Covid-19.

In a statement, the New Zealand health ministry said: “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.”

“I have very carefully considered this situation. At this time, I continue to have ongoing concerns about the risk of cross-infection within the squad,” said Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

‘There have been a number of active cases identified among the team. Public health considerations will continue to be foremost in our response to Covid-19, whether this involves individuals or teams. We appreciate the challenges that this decision will have for the touring team,” he added.

At least eight members of the Pakistan team have so far tested positive for novel coronavirus.

The Pakistan cricket squad, comprising support staff, arrived in New Zealand on November 24 and underwent their first test on the third day of their arrival. As many as seven members tested positive in that test.

They are undergoing a 14-day quarantine.

The Black Caps are scheduled to play three T20Is and two Tests against Pakistan, starting December 18.