After breaching the isolation protocol which resulted in as many as eight Pakistan squad members testing positive for Coronavirus, the others have returned a final negative test on Monday. That means the squad will now fly down to Queenstown to prepare for the T20I series on December 18.
After the training exemptions for the Pakistan squad was revoked following a breach in protocol during their Quarantine, there was a massive level of anxiety among their cricketers, with the tour kick-starting on December 18. The New Zealand Ministry of Health decided to do a final round of testing for the negative squad members before allowing them to board a flight to Queenstown where the first four-day game between New Zealand A and Pakistan A will be played.
"The member of the Pakistan squad who tested positive on day six will remain in managed isolation until departing - negative tests permitting," a New Zealand Cricket release said.
"Additionally, the member of the squad who was taken into quarantine in Auckland after arriving from Dubai feeling unwell - but subsequently testing negative - has also been cleared to leave the facility."
While players had to undergo five extra days of strict Quarantine, head coach Misbah-ul-Haq praised his players for making sacrifices. The former Pakistan skipper also stated that spending time in isolation without being given the concession to train was both "mentally and physically" draining but he hailed the players to get through that period.
"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 pandemic 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.”
The T20I series will start in Auckland on December 18.