New Zealand have cancelled their limited-overs tour of Pakistan citing security problems, leaving the cricket community in Pakistan unimpressed. PCB chairman Ramiz Raja was especially angry at the New Zealand Cricket’s decision, saying, “Walking out of the tour by taking a unilateral approach on a security threat is very frustrating. Especially when it is not shared! Which world is NZ living in? NZ will hear us at ICC.”
The tour, comprising three ODIs and five T20Is, was supposed to start today, with the first ODI in Rawalpindi, but neither team left their hotel on the morning of the game, and spectators were not allowed to enter the stadium.
After a period of indecision, as details regarding the cause of the delay were still unknown, a NZC 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 team and staff in Pakistan are now preparing to leave the country.
“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.
Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand prime minister who spoke to Imran Khan, her counterpart in Pakistan, insisted that player safety had to be prioritised. “When I spoke with the prime minister of Pakistan, I conveyed our thanks for taking care of the New Zealand cricket team,” she was quoted as saying by media back home in New Zealand. “I know how disappointing it will be for everyone that the game hasn’t gone ahead, but we totally support the decision that’s been made. Player safety has to be paramount.”
“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,” the statement said. “PCB and Govt of Pakistan made foolproof 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.”
Heather Knight’s Statement few days ago
“Things are obviously changing very quickly at the moment but we’re still in conversation or just waiting on a few things to try and work out what’s going to happen,” she had said. “So hopefully, things are deemed safe. That’s out of my hands and the team’s hands and it’s up to the people above to make those decisions but we’re in constant conversations and that will progress, I’m sure, in the next few weeks.”