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New Zealand call off tour of Pakistan citing security threat

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.

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‘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 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.

‘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.

PCB chairman Ramiz Raja warned that the NZC will have to answer this at the International Cricket Council (ICC).


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