Wellington: The New Zealand Cricket (NZC) abandoned its ongoing Pakistan tour just before the start of first ODI. The NZC withdrew its team from Pakistan citing a security threat.
‘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. 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’, NZC said in a statement.
‘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’, said New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White in a statement.
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
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has spoken to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and informed her that no security threat was found by Pakistani intelligence.
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. 4/4
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) September 17, 2021
‘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 foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. 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 around the world will be disappointed by this last-minute withdrawal’, said PCB in its statement.
Crazy day it has been! Feel so sorry for the fans and our players. Walking out of the tour by taking a unilateral approach on a security threat is very frustrating. Especially when it’s not shared!! Which world is NZ living in??NZ will hear us at ICC.
— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) September 17, 2021
PCB chairman Ramiz Raja warned that the NZC will have to answer this at the International Cricket Council (ICC).