The Pakistan cricket team left Lahore on Monday for New Zealand ahead of a series between both countries starting on December 18.
A 50-member strong contingent, including 35 players, will leave for New Zealand on 23rd November. After reaching Auckland, all the members will be in a 14-day quarantine period. According to the ‘Express News’, the New Zealand board is looking for an opportunity to allow some crowds in the stadium.
Upon arriving, for the first three days of the quarantine, the players and support staff will have to stay in complete isolation where they won’t be allowed to come near each other. COVID-19 tests will be conducted on the 4th day.
Then groups of about 15 persons will be formed. Members of these group will have separate areas to live and will not be allowed to interact with other group members for the remaining period of their quarantine. After the quarantine period, another test will be conducted, post its negative result the players and officials will be free to train with each other.
Pakistan was the third team to tour England after West Indies and Ireland when cricket resumed post lockdown. In England, the players underwent several COVID tests regularly and were in individual isolation for a longer time than they will be in New Zealand. They were tested every five days during the England tour.
Last week Azam was announced as the Test captain of the Pakistan team replacing Azhar Ali. Babar was made the limited-overs skipper last year replacing Sarfaraz Ahmed after Pakistan’s exit from the league stage in the World Cup.
Babar’s first assignment as an all-format leader would be to take on New Zealand. The Men in Green will tour to New Zealand for three T20Is starting 18th December followed by a two-match Test series.
Openers (six): Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood and Zeeshan Malik (Northern)
Middle-order batsmen (11): Babar Azam (captain), Azhar Ali, Danish Aziz, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Haris Sohail, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imran Butt, Khushdil Shah and Mohammad Hafeez
Wicketkeepers (three): Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain, Tests), Rohail Nazir (Shaheens captain) and Sarfaraz Ahmed
Spinners (five): Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan (vice-captain, T20Is), Usman Qadir, Yasir Shah and Zafar Gohar
Fast bowlers (10): Amad Butt, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Musa, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohail Khan and Wahab Riaz.
Pakistan v New Zealand Schedule:
18 Dec – 1st T20I, Eden Park, Auckland
20 Dec – 2nd T20I, Seddon Park, Hamilton
22 Dec – 3rd T20I, McLean Park, Napier
26-30 Dec – 1st Test, Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
3-7 Jan – 2nd Test, Hagley Oval, Christchurch