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Pakistan team’s Covid-19 cases in New Zealand becomes baffling mystery

Many players from one particular PSL franchise have tested positive

PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

The coronavirus cases, which have now reached 10, in the Pakistan squad, currently on tour in New Zealand, has become a baffling mystery.

According to details, the Covid-19 cases could be connected to the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam (QeA) Trophy and the recently concluded Pakistan Super League (PSL) season 5 playoffs.

Many players from one particular PSL franchise have tested positive. The opener of the said franchise is still recovering whereas a foreign player is undergoing another eight days of isolation after he returned positive results upon his arrival to his home country.

Many players, who have been referred to as historical cases, came down with the flu and fever during the QeA Trophy. Two players had to quarantine themselves because they tested positive before going to foreign leagues.

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These facts are a cause for alarm. Many have criticised the decision to send the team to New Zealand after just two days of quarantine and one test. In the previous tour of England, players had to undergo three tests and several days of quarantine which brought positive cases to the forefront and allowed the players to recover in time.

When contacted, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s Director Media Samiul Hasan Burney claimed that all Covid-19 SOPs had been followed before the team’s departure for New Zealand.

“All covid-19 protocols were followed before the team’s departure to New Zealand. The players were already isolated in different bio-bubbles in different tournaments. If only one franchise was severely affected, it would have shown during the PSL playoffs but the matches were held without any issues,” Burney said.

Many have questioned how players could have contracted the coronavirus in New Zealand. The travel arrangements are being pointed out as the most reasonable explanation for the spread of the coronavirus amongst the Pakistan squad members.

The Pakistan Shaheens side traveled through economy class and was then reunited with the members of the national side. However, a senior member of the side tested negative twice before attaining a positive result in New Zealand which was another baffling development.

Sources have claimed that the outbreak could be explained by taking into account the QeA Trophy where players from two specific teams came down with flu and fever. At the time, it was attributed to the changing weather conditions and the tests came back negative.

Many players in the PSL season 5 playoffs also fell sick but there tests came back negative. However, all of them showed symptoms of the coronavirus and most of the cases that have been flagged in New Zealand are amongst these players. These players have been identified as historical cases.

Pakistan players who departed for the Lankan Premier League (LPL) in Sri Lanka and tested positive also belong to the franchise whose players tested positive in New Zealand. The owner of the franchise is also recovering from the coronavirus and is in a bio-bubble.

A players from another PSL franchise tested positive in Australia which raises questions about the bio-bubble. Some have claimed that breaches occurred during the bio-bubble that remained unchecked.