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Legendary Pakistan pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar has slammed New Zealand Cricket (NZC) for threatening to send the national team back after six players tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Akhtar also said that NZC’s statement treated Pakistan as if they were a club team and added that the board should have put more thought into their message before releasing it to the public.
“What does it mean, ‘we will send you back’? Is it a club team or what? NZC should behave themselves and think before giving a statement regarding a national team,” Akhtar said on his YouTube channel as quoted by Ary Sports.
“It was really disappointing for me when I heard such a statement from them. I mean Pakistan was not dying to play against them, it’s their home series and they will earn. Instead of being thankful to us for touring in such challenging times, they are adopting such an attitude. It is unbearable.”
With the tour now in limbo, Akhtar also lashed out at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for not taking the proper precautions.
The Rawalpindi Express said the PCB should have spent more money and hired a chartered plane to fly the players to New Zealand.
He also questioned why batsman Imam-ul-Haq was allowed to film a video on the flight.
“PCB is also equally responsible for this as they sent the team on a commercial flight. I mean when players will sit among 200 [or] more people in a single congested flight, [the] chances of being infected with the virus automatically increases. They should have spent some money to get a chartered plane to minimize this risk,” he said.
“On the other hand, Imam-ul-Haq makes a video on the flight and PCB uploads it, then how can you expect there will be no criticism?”
Pakistan will play three T20 Internationals and two Tests in New Zealand, with the series beginning on December 18 and concluding on January 7.