New Zealand cancels Pakistan tour
The New Zealand cricket team has opted to cancel the whole Pakistan visit. The first ODI on Friday, September 17 was canceled, due to a security threat notice from the New Zealand government. The match was scheduled to begin at 2.30 p.m. local time. However, none of the visitors’ players arrived until half an hour before the game because they were not allowed to leave their rooms.
New Zealand security issues
While there was some confusion as to what the real issue was, many speculated that it was COVID-19. A joint statement from the New Zealand Cricket and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) eventually confirmed that it was a security issue. The NZC has decided to cancel the entire tour, which included three ODIs and five T20Is.
“The BLACKCAPS are abandoning their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert.”
“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,” the NZC statement further added.
Is Covid-19 the real issue behind the ODI series cancel?
While there was some confusion as to what the real issue was, many speculated that it was COVID-19. A joint statement from the New Zealand Cricket and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) eventually confirmed the news.
PCB, on the other hand, has voiced their displeasure. This is because New Zealand was scheduled to visit after an 18-year absence and would now depart even before the series begins.
Also Read: Ramiz Raja to take over as PCB Chairman
In a statement issued on Twitter, PCB said, “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.
“We have assured the NZ cricket board of the same. The Prime Minister spoke personally to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. They informed us 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 around the world will be disappointed by this last-minute withdrawal,” it further added.
The cancellation of this tour and postponement has raised questions over the England tour of Pakistan next month before ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
Have something to add to the story? Comment down below!