Pakistan head coach Misbah-Ul-Haq has expressed displeasure over New Zealand government not allowing their team to train ahead of a challenging series. Pakistan cricket team has copped criticism in the last few weeks for breaking the bio-bubble protocols, resulting in several players testing positive for COVID-19. Misbah-Ul-Haq conceded that not being able to train has affected their athletes.
While all Pakistan cricketers in New Zealand have tested negative as per a recent development; however, the nation’s health ministry has opted for extra precaution, preventing the risk of cross-infection. Pakistan’s tour begins with the first of the three T20 internationals in Auckland followed by other two in Hamilton in Napier. The two sides will also clash in two Tests which Mount Manganui and Christchurch will stage.
Misbah-Ul-Haq claimed that players need a specific level of environment to train so they could perform up to the mark in the international fixtures. The former Pakistan captain does respect the rules and regulations of the country; however, some of the protocols have affected them physically and mentally.
“Top professional athletes require a certain environment to prepare so that they can perform at the minimum expected levels. While we completely respect and understand the New Zealand government laws … there is no denying the fact that the implementation of certain regulations has affected our athletes, both mentally and physically,” Misbah said as quoted by Reuters.
We will try to put all this behind us and focus on the challenge of facing New Zealand: Misbah-Ul-Haq
The 46-year old hopes that when they leave the isolation facility in a day or two, they would be up for the Kiwi’s challenge. Misbah-Ul-Haq provided clarification on the 18-man squad announced for the T20 series, mentioning that it contains some highly talented players, who are determined to prove themselves and cement their spot.
“For the T20Is, we have retained the squad that has been playing together for some time. The squad comprises young, talented and high-performing players, who are determined and eager to make names for themselves and further cement their places in the side,” he added.