New Zealand Cricket's 'final warning' to Pakistan players hasn't down well with their former pacer Shoaib Akhtar. In his recent YouTube video, Akhtar slammed NZC for their remarks and said that Pakistan isn't a 'club team' to be sent back home.
Akhtar's comments came in the wake of NZC's statement which mentioned about the protocol breaches by players of the Pakistan side. Ahead of Pakistan's series against New Zealand, as many as six players were tested positive for coronavirus, putting the tour in jeopardy. The six players have been moved from managed isolation into quarantine.
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In a WhatsApp voice note sent to Pakistan players on Thursday, the PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said that he was given a 'final warning' by both NZC and the government.
“They have told me straight away that one more breach and they will send the whole team back,” Khan said in the two-minute message, recorded in the Urdu language, adding 'it will be embarrassing' if this happens.
“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, but please adhere to full protocols.”
Responding to NZC's statement and the current situation, Akhtar said that cricket in Pakistan hasn't 'finished' and they're not 'desperate for money'. He also told the New Zealand cricket board to 'behave' and stop giving such statements. Pakistan are slated to play three T20Is and two Tests against the Kiwis, starting from December 18 with the first T20I encounter.
“New Zealand’s comment that if Pakistan’s team’s SOP (standard operating procedures) is not in place then we will cancel the tour is below the belt.
“I want to give a message to New Zealand board (NZC) that this is not a club team, it’s Pakistan national cricket team. We don’t need you. Our cricket has not finished and we aren’t desperate for money. You will get the broadcasting rights money. So, you should be indebted to us that we decided to tour your country in such difficult times,” said Akhtar on his YouTube channel.
”You are talking about Pakistan - the greatest country on the planet - so behave yourself and stop giving such a statement. Be careful next time. Pakistan team now needs to smash them in T20 series,” he further said.