New Zealand call off cricket series with Pakistan over security
NZC chief says it's not possible to continue tour after security advice he received
To much of the disappointment of the cricket-lovers in Pakistan, the New Zealand team has called off its one-day and T20I series minutes before the state of the first one-day international at Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on Friday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The New Zealand cricket board citing security reasons and taking a decision on their own cancelled the series, to be played after 18-year gap.
The BLACKCAPS are abandoning their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert.— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) September 17, 2021
Arrangements are now being made for the team’s departure.
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The series was called off only minutes before the first one-dayer was due to start at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi.
In a statement issued on its website, Pakistan Cricket Board said the series was cancelled due to security reasons. "New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series," the PCB statement added.
PCB statement— PCB Media (@TheRealPCBMedia) September 17, 2021
More details ⬇️ https://t.co/ni0G7FtwfH
"Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all the visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same. The Pakistan 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 PCB statement further said.
The PCB is willing to continue the scheduled matches. However, cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world will be disappointed by this last-minute withdrawal.
New Zealand Cricket statement
After a period of uncertainty, as details regarding the cause of the delay were awaited, a New Zealand cricket statement was issued, saying, "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".
The New Zealand contingent in Pakistan is now preparing to leave the country.
New Zealand Cricket chief David White said it was simply not possible to continue with the tour given the advice he was receiving.
"I understand this will be a blow for the PCB, who have been wonderful hosts, but player safety is paramount and we believe this is the only responsible option," NZC chief executive David White said in the statement.
New Zealand Cricket Players Association chief executive Heath Mills echoed White’s sentiments. “We’ve been across this process throughout and are fully supportive of the decision. The players are in good hands; they are safe – and everyone’s acting in their best interests.”
New Zealand Cricket will comment on the details of the security threat nor the updated arrangements for the departing squad.