"They have zero tolerance and they have given us a final warning."
The chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board has warned players on tour in New Zealand to obey Covid-19 protocols.
In a WhatsApp voice note sent to Pakistan players on November 26, 2020, Wasim Khan said he was given a “final warning”.
This comes after New Zealand Cricket and its government warned the team that they could be sent back to Pakistan after six players tested positive for Covid-19.
Khan said in the two-minute message:
“They have told me straight away that one more breach and they will send the whole team back. It will be embarrassing if it happens.”
Closed-circuit television footage showed that some members of the Pakistan squad had broken protocols on the first day of managed isolation.
Khan continued his warning in the voice message:
“They (New Zealand Cricket) also said there were three to four breaches of protocols.
“They have zero tolerance and they have given us a final warning. I know it’s difficult times for you and it’s not easy.
“You have operated in similar conditions (playing) in England… it’s a matter of the country’s respect and credibility.
“Please observe 14 days, then you will get freedom in New Zealand to go out in restaurants and roam around. Please adhere to full protocols.”
The Pakistan team’s exemption to practice while in managed isolation will be withheld until an investigation has been completed.
All players were tested four times before their departure from Lahore to New Zealand and were negative on each occasion.
New Zealand Cricket said while the positive cases were disappointing, their early discovery showed government protocols around touring teams are working.
Pakistan is scheduled to play three Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand, starting on December 18, 2020, followed by two test matches.
The six players have been moved from managed isolation into quarantine.
Two of the six cases were described as “historical” and four were new.
The Pakistan touring group, including 53 players and officials, was tested after arriving on November 24, 2020.
All six positive cases were being moved to the quarantine arm of the isolation facility.
New Zealand, widely praised for its pandemic response, had previously seen a total of 2,040 cases and 25 deaths.
It implemented a stringent but brief lockdown at the start of the crisis, along with targeted testing and successful surveillance.
Pakistan meanwhile has seen over 350,000 confirmed cases and 7,800 deaths.