We ‘considered pulling out of New Zealand tour’


He also said Pakistan would not use the quarantine period as an excuse if they lost the series

Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has said they “realistically considered pulling our of the New Zealand tour” during the time they spent in quarantine, before opting to stay to keep the game alive for fans. He did say the two-week strict quarantine took both a mental and physical toll on the players, but promised he would not use it as an excuse in the event of an unfavourable result.

Pakistan’s quarantine period in New Zealand was notably more eventful than West Indies’, who were also made to quarantine before their series against New Zealand. The Pakistan players were strongly reprimanded by the New Zealand government for breaches of policy in the first 12 hours in isolation while half a dozen players tested positive putting the tour in jeopardy. There were several emails exchanged between the two boards on the treatment of players in isolation while New Zealand’s director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield refused to allow players to train while in quarantine. The PCB CEO Wasim Khan sent the players a message directly addressing them, warning they would be sent back to Pakistan if any further breaches of the Covid-19 protocols occurred, saying it would be “hugely embarrassing for the country”.

“You try and analyse things and think realistically about every possible angle,” Misbah said while interacting with the media for the first time in New Zealand. “You think about how many days we need to prepare, how we are going to prepare, how to lift your team. Obviously these aren’t normal circumstances; what happens here isn’t ideal. But then for the sake of international cricket you want cricket to go on, and being a big stakeholder, we will give our full effort to help cricket overall. We did discuss [about pulling out of the tour] but then finally decided to say no to this option because when you invest this much time on this, then you have got to give it a shot.

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