Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq revealed that Pakistan had once thought of pulling out of the New Zealand tour after an extension in period of isolation in Christchurch. More than half a dozen members from Pakistan contingent had tested positive for COVID-19.
“Obviously these were not normal circumstances and we discussed with the cricket board options but in the end we decided that now that we have already been in New Zealand for so long we must remain and finish the tour,” Misbah told reporters on Friday (December 11). “We are a bit unlucky we couldn’t start training after three days. But in the end we have to make up for lost time and we are now on a mission to play good cricket and win here,” he added.
“If we have to co-exist with COVID-19 and also ensure cricket is played then all teams have to give sacrifices like we did here. We are here to support international cricket in difficult times so that cricket fans and people get to see cricket and some entertainment.
“[But] it is a great stress mentally on the players who are the main stakeholders of the sport and from what I know cricket boards are already working on ways to ease things for us”
“Batting is a challenge for us but we can make it up with our bowling qualities,” Misbah said. “We know he (Ferguson) bowls over 150km/h. He is a very hostile bowler but if they have one we have four bowlers like this who can touch 150. Wahab [Riaz], even Shaheen [Afridi] too touches 144 when he hits his peak.
“New Zealand is a tough opponent, we saw them playing against West Indies but we are confident looking at how we played the last couple of series and England experience will help us, and hopefully we will be ready for competitive cricket by December 18,” he concluded.