The world of sports continues to grapple with the rising threat of the pandemic that is the novel Coronavirus- COVID-19. With the situation escalating at an alarming rate, most of the sporting events including the Premier League, La Liga, NBA, have been postponed.
On the cricketing front, almost every tournament barring the Pakistan Super League (PSL) has been called-off till the unforeseeable future. The PCB has condensed the fifth edition of the league by four playing days, replacing the playoffs stage with the traditional finals. A plethora of foreign players have withdrawn from the tournament and the latest to join the list is Karachi Kings’, Mitchell McClenaghan.
McClenaghan joins the list of overseas Internationals which includes Alex Hales (Karachi Kings), Rilee Rossouw and James Vince (Multan Sultan), Jason Roy and Tymal Mills (Quetta Gladiators), Colin Munro, Dale Steyn, Dawid Malan and Luke Ronchi (Islamabad United) and Tom Banton, Lewis Gregory, Carlos Brathwaite, Liam Dawson and Liam Livingstone (Peshawar Zalmi), who have withdrawn from the tournament following the rising COVID-19 threat.
Karachi Kings have announced that Mitchell McClenaghan will be leaving the squad and returning to New Zealand as soon as possible #PSLV
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) March 15, 2020
Move comes after the NZ government imposed restrictions at its border
Mitchell McClenaghan’s departure comes after the New Zealand government placed restrictions at its border in order to isolate itself for the next fourteen days. The rule will come into effect from Sunday midnight.
“Cabinet made far-reaching and unprecedented decisions today because these are unprecedented circumstances. As of midnight Sunday every person entering New Zealand, including returning New Zealand citizens and residents, will be required to enter self-isolation for 14 days – everybody.” Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister was quoted as saying by Sky News.
Ardern has urged her fellow countrymen to avoid travelling overseas in the wake of the rising threat of COVID-19. The country has confirmed six coronavirus cases thus far.
She added: “We are also encouraging New Zealanders to avoid all non-essential travel overseas – this helps reduce the risk of a New Zealander bringing COVID-19 in”
The new rules imposed by the NZ government were the prime reason behind the cancellation of the three-match One-day International series between the Trans-Tasman rivals in Australia. In the wake of the threat, the upcoming T20I series between New Zealand and Australia have also been postponed.