Pakistan middle-order batsman, Mohammad Hafeez opines that travelling in commercial flights from Pakistan to New Zealand was the reason that several players tested positive for the covid-19 virus upon arriving in New Zealand.
When the 55-member contingent arrived in New Zealand, 10 players were tested to have contracted the virus, and hence the entire group was forced into 14-day strict quarantine. Hafeez revealed that some of the players had to travel in economy class which slacked in health safety measures.
As quoted by news agency, PTI, Mohammad Hafeez said, “I think the players contracted the virus on the commercial flight since some of them had to travel in economy class where social distancing precautions were lax and our players got exposed.”
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was criticized for sending players on a commercial flight to Auckland. PCB said that it would be too expensive to send so many people on a chartered flight because of the duration of the journey.
We were treated like prisoners: Mohammad Hafeez
Hafeez is totally unhappy about the way the Pakistani contingent was treated in New Zealand. The New Zealand health authorities have forced the visitors to extended quarantine period as they were found flouting the isolation rules, and later more covid-19 cases emerged.
The 40-year-old says that his group was treated like prisoners. The isolation period felt like serving jail time to Hafeez. The right-hander maintains that they were treated harshly – Pakistan team was warned by the home health authorities that they could be sent back home – and were not able to prepare properly for the T20I series.
“True we are supposed to be ambassadors of the country but I don’t think we were treated like that in New Zealand. The attitude kept with us was not right and we were treated like prisoners. It was not easy for us to prepare for the T20 matches after spending time in jail conditions and we had just days before the first match,” Hafeez added.
The 40-year-old was the shining light in Pakistan’s T20I series defeat. Hafeez recorded his highest T20I score of 99* and made an important 41 in Pakistan’s consolation victory in the third T20I.