Pakistan have had a troublesome start to their New Zealand tour with as many as six members of the 54-member camp testing positive for Covid-19 since arriving in the country last month.
As a result, the entire squad and support staff was in managed isolation in Christchurch and wasn’t given any exemption to train in groups.
Pakistan’s Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq is worried about series against New Zealand. He believes the lack of training and the unusual lead-up to the series will have affected the players, both “mentally and physically”.
“I want to compliment my players and the management team for their patience, sacrifices and the hardships they have endured to ensure they not only lead the safe resumption of international cricket during the Covid-19 since the series in England but also try to give their best every time they step on the field,” Misbah said in a PCB release.
“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.
“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.”
Pakistan have announced an 18-player men’s national squad for the three T20Is against New Zealand to be played on 18, 20 and 22 December.
Pakistan’s T20I Squad:
1. Babar Azam (captain), 2. Shadab Khan (vice-captain), 3. Abdullah Shafique, 4. Faheem Ashraf, 5. Haider Ali, 6. Haris Rauf, 7. Hussain Talat, 8. Iftikhar Ahmed, 9. Imad Wasim, 10. Khushdil Shah, 11. Mohammad Hafeez, 12. Mohammad Hasnain, 13. Mohammad Musa Khan, 14. Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 15. Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), 16. Shaheen Shah Afridi, 17. Usman Qadir, 18. Wahab Riaz.