New Zealand’s tour of Pakistan has been completely called off due to security concerns, just minutes before the toss for the 1st one-day international was going to take place in Rawalpindi on Friday.
It is being reported that the New Zealand cricket team refused to take the field and stayed inside their hotel rooms after being advised to do so by the NZC security advisors. The Pakistan Cricket Board said New Zealand Cricket informed it that “they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series.
Pakistan were scheduled to host New Zealand for a series of 3 ODIs and 5 T20 internationals in Rawalpindi and Lahore from September 17 to October 3.
According to an NZC release: “The side was to play Pakistan this evening in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi, before moving to Lahore for a five match T20 series.
The BLACKCAPS are abandoning their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert.
Arrangements are now being made for the team’s departure.
More information | https://t.co/Lkgg6mAsfu
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) September 17, 2021
“However, following an escalation in the New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan, and advice from NZC security advisors on the ground, it has been decided the BLACKCAPS will not continue with the tour. Arrangements are now being made for the team’s departure.”
Notably, the New Zealand cricket team arrived in Pakistan on September 11 for a limited-over series marking the Kiwis’ first international series in the country since 2003.
PCB WILLING TO CONTINUE
The Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed the developments and expressed their disappointment but also said that they were willing to continue with the scheduled matches.
“Earlier today, the New Zealand cricket board informed us that they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series. PCB and Govt of Pakistan made fool proof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand cricket board of the same.
“The Prime Minister spoke personally to the Prime Minister of New Zealand and informed her that we have one of the best Intelligence systems in the world and that no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team. The security officials with the NZ team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Govt of Pakistan throughout their stay here.
“PCB is willing to continue the scheduled matches. However, cricket lovers in Pakistan and world over will be disappointed by this last minute withdrawal,” the PCB statement said.