Akhtar Warned NZ Cricket To ‘Behave Yourself’ For Threatening To Cancel Tour & Accused NZC Of Treating Pakistan Team Like A Club Team
Pakistan cricket legend Shoaib Akhtar has launched a scathing attack on New Zealand Cricket for threatening to cancel his former team’s tour of the country.
On Thursday it was announced that six Pakistan players at their managed isolation facility in Christchurch had tested positive for coronavirus. On the bowling great’s YouTube channel, Akhtar warned New Zealand Cricket to ‘behave yourself’ for threatening to cancel the tour and accused NZC of treating the Pakistan national team like a club team.
The 45-year-old added that New Zealand should feel indebted to Pakistan for agreeing to come to the country when they’re not getting any money for the tour. In Pakistan the affected players have been named on social media. They are former captain Sarfraz Ahmed, Abid Ali, Mohammad Abbas, Rohail Nazir, Danish Aziz and Naseem Shah. Pakistani cricketers are on their “final warning” after breaking managed isolation rules in Christchurch.
The Ministry of Health said “several” members of the Pakistan men’s cricket team were seen breaking the rules in footage captured by video surveillance cameras. However, Akhtar blasted New Zealand Cricket for threatening to cancel the tour, which is due to begin with a Twenty20 game against the Black Caps on December 18.
“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,” Akhtar said on his YouTube channel. “I want to give a message to New Zealand board (NZC) that this is not a club team, it’s Pakistan national cricket team,” he said.
‘We don’t need you. Our cricket has not finished.
“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. ”You are talking about Pakistan – the greatest country on the planet – so behave yourself and stop giving such statement. Be careful next time. Pakistan team now needs to smash them in T20 series.”
Akhtar, who his recognised as the fastest bowler ever, with a delivery at 161.3kmh and took 247 ODI wickets, said the Pakistan Cricket Board should threaten to boycott New Zealand Cricket. “If I was in their place, I would have given a statement saying that if New Zealand Cricket aren’t happy, we won’t play them and will bring our team back and we won’t play against you for five years.”
But Akhtar didn’t save all his criticism for New Zealand Cricket, he also hit out at the Pakistan Cricket Board for sending the players to New Zealand on a commercial flight. “When the tour of England was organised, players were sent on chartered flights,” he said. “But this time, first you went to Dubai, then to Kuala Lampur and then to Auckland. Does the PCB’s brain not work and realise you could have organised a chartered flight?”
The CEO of the Pakistan Cricket Board has warned players on tour in New Zealand to obey Covid-19 protocols or the whole team risks being sent home In a WhatsApp voice note sent to Pakistan players on Thursday, Wasim Khan said he was given a “final warning” by both New Zealand Cricket and its government, AP reported.
“They have told me straightaway 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.”
This news was originally published at Stuff