Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has lambasted New Zealand Cricket [NZC] following a final warning to the Babar Azam-led cricket team after six players were tested positive for coronavirus due to breach of quarantine rules by some of its players.
Earlier on Thursday, New Zealand Cricket released a statement where it said that a few Pakistani players contravened the bio-security protocols on the very first day of their 14-day isolation.
While two players have been deemed historical, four have been confirmed as new. As a result, Pakistan’s training exemption during quarantine has been put on hold
”NZC has also been made aware that some members of the Pakistan team had contravened protocols on the first day of managed isolation. We will be having discussions with the tourists to assist them in understanding the requirements,” NZC said in a press-release.
”NZC considers public health and safety to be paramount in the hosting of international teams, and is supportive of the Ministry of Health and Government position,” he added.
‘We don’t need you’- Shoaib Akhtar to NZC
Coming down hard on NZC, Shoaib Akhtar warned the board for their statement against the ‘greatest country on the planet’ besides adding that New Zealand should be ‘indebted’ to Pakistan for touring their country in such difficult circumstances.
Akhtar further lambasted NZC by claiming that New Zealand needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs the BlackCaps, adding that they are the ones who will get the revenues from broadcasting.
”New Zealand’s comment that if Pakistan’s team’s SOP is not in place then we will cancel the tour is below the belt. I want to give a message to New Zealand board [NZC] that this is not a club team, it’s Pakistan National Cricket Team,” he said,.
‘We don’t need you. Our cricket has not finished. You will get the broadcasting rights money. So, you should be indebted to us that we decided to tour your country in such difficult times,” Shoaib Akhtar said.
”You talking about Pakistan- the greatest country on the planet- so behave yourself and stop giving such statement. Be careful next time. Pakistan team now needs to smash them in T20I series,” Akhtar added.
The controversial fast bowler also criticized PCB for not ensuring that the tourists did not travel to New Zealand directly by a chartered plane, as they had during their trip to England. Pakistan team had to go via Dubai and Kuala Lumpur before they landed in Auckland. He also questioned as to why the PCB did not negotiate with NZC on the type of hotel that their team will be staying in.
Further, Shoaib Akhtar cautioned the likes of Imam Ul-Haq from making videos in public places, let alone sharing it on social media.
Pakistan will lock horns with New Zealand in three T20Is and two Test matches next month.