New Zealand vs Pakistan: Babar Azam-led Pakistan cricket team departed for their month-long tour of New Zealand in the early hours of Monday. However, they left without their star batsman Fakhar Zaman who has been ruled out of the tour as the player is suffering from fever, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had confirmed on Sunday.
Team doctor Sohail Saleem said Zaman tested negative for the coronavirus on Saturday, but the left-handed batter developed a fever the following day.
PCB said that the decision to withdraw Fakhar from the tour was made keeping the health of the rest of the squad members as a “top priority”. The statement read that Fakhar was isolated in the team hotel in Lahore as soon as his condition was detected, adding that the PCB medical panel is in touch with the player.
A regular for Pakistan in white-ball cricket, Zaman has played 47 ODI matches — with a 45-run average and a top score of 210 not out — and 40 Twenty20 games.
Meanwhile, before leaving for New Zealand, Babar Azam shared a picture on Twitter and captioned it as: “Next stop, New Zealand.”
Notably, the visitors will be under a mandatory 14-day quarantine period as per COVID-19 protocol.
Pakistan will play three T20Is on December 18, 20, and 22, and the ICC World Test Championship fixtures will be held in Mount Maunganui and Christchurch on December 26-30 and January 3-7, respectively.