Pakistan cricket great Shoaib Akhtar has blasted NZ Cricket in the wake of breaches of rules by players who are in managed isolation in Christchurch.
Six members of the touring side have tested positive for Covid-19, while the whole squad is on a "final warning" after members breached protocols on their first day of managed isolation.
In a WhatsApp voice note sent to Pakistan players yesterday, Wasim Khan, chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board, said he was given a “final warning” by both New Zealand Cricket and the Government.
“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.
The Pakistan team’s exemption to practise while in managed isolation will be withheld until an investigation has been completed.
Former paceman Akhtar didn't take kindly to the stance, warning NZC to "behave yourself" and accused them of treating the visitors like a club team.
In a lengthy statement on his YouTube page, Akhtar said NZ should be grateful for the Pakistanis coming to play.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
He also hit out at the PCB for sending the team on a commercial flight.
"Does the PCB's brain not work and realise you could have organised a chartered flight?"