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.
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 Newspaper’, the New Zealand board is looking for an opportunity to allow some crowds in the stadium.
Relaxed Protocols For Pakistan team in New Zealand than England
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.
The Pakistan team had their initial COVID-19 tests done on Saturday where everyone has come together in Lahore. The result are yet to be announced. Also, any player or staff member which will be tested positive will have to stay back in Pakistan. Ahead of their tour to England in June atleast 10 players were tested positive for the virus.