The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have started an investigation into how as many as 10 players tested positive for COVID-19 after landing in New Zealand, ahead of the tour, which is set to kick off from December 18.
The probe has been launched after it emerged that some players from one or two teams in the ongoing domestic Quaid-e-Azam Trophy had complained of coughing, fever — symptoms of a possible COVID-19 infection– just a few days before they left for the Kiwi country.
"These players were deemed to have viral infections due to changing weather and later also tested negative in the COVID-19 tests carried out in Lahore by the board," a PCB source told PTI.
"But they tested positive after reaching Christchurch where the entire squad is now quarantined at a managed facility after the 10 positive tests," he added.
He revealed that some of the players who had complained of fever while playing the domestic tournament in Pakistan turned out to be COVID-19 positive, after landing in Christchurch.
Interestingly, the majority of the players belonged to two provincial teams and some of them played for one particular franchise of the Pakistan Super League as well. Batsman Fakhar Zaman had decided to pull out of the tour having complained of fever, flu, and other symptoms associated with the novel Coronavirus. However, his Test came out negative.
The PCB has been facing criticism for sending a 53-member contingent, including 35 players and 18 staff members, by a commercial flight.
In the same light, New Zealand's Ministry of Health has provided an update regarding the series of latest Coronavirus Tests conducted on the players. As per the health ministry, all 43 Tests have come out negative.
"Laboratories have completed processing of the Pakistan cricket team’s day 9 swabs. All 43 results are negative," an official statement read.