Pak vs NZ: Pakistani squad divided into groups for 14-day quarantine

KARACHI: A 54-member Pakistan Cricket squad has been divided into four different groups on arrival in New Zealand – each group isolated from other groups, residing in separate blocks.

An official confirmed to Geo News that players and officials will remain in isolation for 14 days, the duration will be calculated from the day of arrival in Christchurch.

“They will have the training and other movements at their respective decided times. It is like a different bubble for each group. Virtually every group is isolated from other groups and living in their own bubble,” he said.

“It is like four different bubbles within the biosecure environment set for the team,” the official explained.

Each group has a set of players and officials with them so that players’ training can be managed aptly with the best available coaching staff.

Cricketers Abid Ali, Shan Masood, Fawad Alam, Yasir Shah, Haris Sohail, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Azhar Ali, Imamul Haq are placed in group I along with batting coach Younis Khan, trainer Yasir Malik, media manager Ibrahim Badees, and Dr Hafiz Naeem.

However, the second group consists of Abdullah Shafiq, Zeeshan Malik, Imran Butt, Sohail Khan, Ammad Butt, Danish Aziz, Rohail Nazir, Zafar Gohar, Ejaz Ahmed (coach, Pakistan Shaheen), Mohammad Imran (masseur, Pak Shaheens), Usman Hashmi (Analyst, Pakistan Shaheens), Saboor Ahmed (Trainer, Pakistan Shaheens) and Rao Iftekhar Anjum, the bowling coach of Pakistani squad.

All-rounder Iftikhar Ahmed, bowling coach Waqar Younis and former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed are placed in group III along with Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and other officials.

The think tank of the Pakistan team including head coach Misbah ul Haq, the captain Babar Azam, his red ball deputy Mohammad Rizwan, white ball vice-captain Shadab Khan, and assistant manager Shahid Aslam are isolated in group VI.

The other members of this group include Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Hafeez, Musa Khan, Khushdil Shah, Haris Rauf, analyst Talha Ejaz, masseur Malang, and Dr Sohail Saleem.

Meanwhile, a source confirmed to Geo News that the first round of COVID-19 Tests of players are done and once the results are negative and players complete their three days of isolation, they will be able to start their training.

“For the next few days, the training is going to be within groups,” the source added.

Pakistan will play three T20Is and two Test matches in New Zealand next month. On the sidelines, Pakistan Shaheens will also play two 4-day games against New Zealand A on the tour.

According to Shaheens’ schedule, the first four-day game will commence on 10th December while 2nd four-day game will start on 17th December.