Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said that his team considered pulling out of the New Zealand tour after some of the touring party members tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival. As many as eight members of the Pakistan team tested positive with some members even breaching the local health protocols. It forced the New Zealand authorities to put them under strict quarantine with no access to practice and training facilities.
“Obviously these aren’t normal circumstances; what happens here isn’t ideal. But then for the sake of international cricket you want cricket to go on, and being a big stakeholder, we will give our full effort to help cricket overall. We did discuss (about pulling out of the tour) but then finally decided to say no to this option because when you invest this much time on this, then you have got to give it a shot,” Misbah was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“Coping in the situation isn’t easy for anyone. But if we want to keep the game alive and keep it going we have to make this sacrifice for fans sitting at home who want to watch the game and get entertained in this difficult time. We, as players and coaches, are the biggest stakeholders and we have to keep on trying to give our every effort. Let’s see how long it can go like this and for how long players can sustain it. But I think as professionals we somehow have to manage ourself in the bubble or in quarantine,” he added.
“(But) it is a great stress mentally on the players who are the main stakeholders of the sport and from what I know cricket boards are already working on ways to ease things for us.”
The former Pakistan captain, however, said that they will not blame the lack of practice due to the positive tests and strict quarantine if they end up losing the series.
Pakistan play three T20 Internationals and two Test matches.