The New Zealand cricket team has abandoned its historic Pakistan tour just a few minutes before the first ball was to be bowled. As per the board’s release, the tour is off due to a security alert. It’s after 18 years that Black Caps had landed in Pakistan to face the Men in Green.
As per the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Prime Minister Imran Khan had spoken to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and informed her about the security arrangements.
“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 fool proof security arrangements for all visiting teams,” the PCB tweeted.
“We have assured the NZ 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 PCB is willing to reschedule the matches but the fixtures won’t take place anytime soon as the New Zealand cricket team is flying back home soon.
As per NZC chief executive David White, Pakistan were ‘wonderful hosts’ but calling off the fixtures was the only responsible option. “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,” he said.
The visitors were without the services of their first-choice players as 7 players are in UAE to play the 2nd phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Tom Latham was handed the team’s charge in Kane Williamson’s absence.
The two teams were to square off in three ODIs and 5 T20Is from September 23 to October 23. The first ODI was to take place in Rawalpindi from 3:00 PM IST today (September 17).