KARACHI: Pakistan team manager Wasim Bari admitted Monday that players were facing an unprecedented challenge to focus on the two-match Test series against New Zealand as aftershocks continue to haunt the visitors in Christchurch. Pakistan travelled from Nelson to Christchurch where they are scheduled to play the first Test against the Black Caps from November 17. At least two people died after a powerful earthquake hit New Zealand, causing damage to buildings and leading residents to evacuate their homes
Pakistan were in Nelson when the tremor struck first and the players were escorted out from the seventh floor of the hotel to safety. However, things havenâ€™t returned to normalcy as aftershocks continue. â€œWe are facing a situation we have never faced before on a tour. It is a terrifying experience,â€ Bari, a former Pakistan captain, told media from Christchurch. â€œUnder the current situation, it is impossible for the players to focus on cricket. The players didnâ€™t sleep and remained at the hotelâ€™s reception area the entire night.â€ They are not out of the woods yet either. â€œThe aftershocks are continuing and players are unlikely to get rest any time soon,â€ said Bari informing the team was staying on the sixth floor of a Christchurch hotel. â€œAll individuals act in a different manner and most of them are terrified.
New Zealand Cricket has said the series will go on as planned and the Pakistan manager revealed the team is willing to play despite being in a spot of bother. â€œWe have a practice session and the players will try to regain their focus. Letâ€™s see how the conditions at the venue are,â€ said the manager. â€œWe did not get match practice before the series as the warm-up match in Nelson was washed out,â€ he added. â€œThe players had to make do with indoor practice sessions several times and going into the Test without much preparation itself is a challenge for them.â€
PCB inquires about safety of teams: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) management inquired about the safety of the touring men and womenâ€™s teams in New Zealand. â€œBoth teams management told the PCB about the safety and overall playing conditions in New Zealand in the wake of an earthquake. They said the players and management are safe,â€ said a PCB statement.