First match between Pakistan Shaheens and New Zealand A cancelled

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have mutually agreed to cancel the first four-day game between Pakistan Shaheens and New Zealand A, scheduled to start on December 10th, due to delay in the start of preparation for cricket action.

The decision is the result of a request to the NZC in which the Pakistan cricket authorities had asked to cancel or reschedule the first four-day game between New Zealand A and Shaheens after the health officials delayed permission to Pakistani cricketers to start training during the managed isolation period.

“Pakistan have opted to play a series of intra-squad matches in Queenstown from Dec 10-13 instead of the planned four-day game against New Zealand A, in order to maximize their preparation ahead of the T20 and Test series. NZC is supportive of this decision,” the New Zealand Cricket said in a statement.

An official of the PCB confirmed the development saying that Pakistan cricketers will now play intra-squad games in Queenstown from 10th to 13th and the second four-day game between Shaheens and New Zealand A will be played from 17th as scheduled and the first T20I be played on 18th, as announced earlier.

“Members of Pakistani squad continue to be in managed isolation in Christchurch. All the squad members will travel to Queenstown on 8th of December provided clearance from New Zealand health authorities to travel,” said the PCB spokesman.

“In Queenstown, Pakistan’s senior national team and Shaheen’s squad will stay at different hotels and will play various intra-squad games,” he said.

Pakistan Shaheens’ squad members will travel to Whangarei on 14th December where it will play the four-day game against New Zealand A form 17th. Pakistan’s senior national team will travel to Auckland on 15th December to play the first T20I on 18th.

Pakistan cricket team’s preparation ahead of series in New Zealand has been halted after eight squad members were tested positive for COVID-19 in a series of tests since arrival in New Zealand. Two of them have been cleared to leave quarantine and join the squad after it was confirmed that theirs’ was the historical case and not infectious.