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PAkistan cricketers on Monday complained of being “mentally and physically” harmed by New Zealand’s strict Covid-19 protocol, which kept players in their quarantine hotels for almost two weeks.

Coach Misbah-ul-Haq said as the team waited to come out of the managed isolation, New Zealand Cricket said the latest virus test had always come back negative and they should be allowed on Tuesday.

The 50-plus squad of players and officials has tested 10 since coming last month, forcing New Zealand health authorities to withdraw permission to train the team in isolation.

Early in their stay, several party members merged together at their four-star Constitution Hotel in Christchurch due to violations of secession rules.

“A specific environment is needed to prepare top professional athletes so that they can perform at the minimum expected level each time they represent their country,” Misbah said in a statement.

He said Pakistan “respects and understands” the health and safety regulations, but there is no reason to deny that “enforcing certain rules has affected our athletes both mentally and physically before an international series”.

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