Pak vs NZ: Over 220 hotel rooms booked for players and their families

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ISLAMABAD: Preparations for the New Zealand tour to Pakistan are well underway as three floors and over 220 rooms at a seven-star establishment were booked for team members, officials and support staff

The Pakistan-New Zealand series is set to begin on September 17 in Rawalpindi, with New Zealand cricketers expected to arrive on September 11. 

“Around 220 rooms on three different floors have been allocated for the biosecure environment,” one of the hotel executives told The News.

The executive added that the rooms and floors are solely meant for the cricket series between New Zealand and Pakistan and all three floors will be a part of the biosecure bubble.  

The hotel executive confirmed that the staff members working on the floors will also be a part of the biosecure environment. “The staff members will serve teams and stay within the same secure environment till the departure of the teams to Lahore,” the official said.

The executive further stated that the number of hotel rooms booked has increased since the players’ families are also staying with them in the hotel. 

The three floors reserved for the series are equipped with gyms, meeting rooms, and dining rooms for the players, the hotel executive added. 

Pakistani players and their support staff members will be tested for COVID-19 today at their homes. Following the COVID-19 test, they will have to stay quarantined at home before checking in at the hotel on September 8. 

From September 8, members will undergo repeated COVID-19 tests for the next three days. The Pakistan team starts training the next day on arrival at the hotel. 

New Zealand cricketers are expected to arrive on September 12. New Zealand team members will begin their cricket practice after completing their quarantine. 

Pakistan Head Coach Misbahul Haq tested negative for Covid-19 on Friday in Jamaica. He is due to be back on Sunday and will join the team on September 9 in Islamabad.

Special security measures are in place for the teams’ travel from the hotel to the ground and back. 

“The 111 Brigade will be looking after the security in coordination with law enforcing agencies,” a board official said. 

“All measures which were adopted for Sri Lanka and South Africa teams will be there with one change that this time around 25% of the total capacity crowd will also be there at the stadium watching the teams in action,” he added.

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