Newly-appointed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja on Friday expressed his disappointment on Twitter after New Zealand decided to abandon their limited-overs tour of Pakistan citing a “security alert”. The dramatic development came on a day when the two teams were all set to face off in the first of the three-match ODI series in Rawalpindi. “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,” Raja wrote on Twitter.
“The BLACKCAPS are abandoning their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert. 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,” New Zealand Cricket said in a release.
“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 added in its release.
The tour also included a five-match T20I series, which was to be played at Lahore. The series was being seen by both teams as an ideal preparation for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, which will be played in UAE and Oman between October 17 and November 14.
New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White justified the last-minute decision and said that the safety of the players is paramount.
“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.
The Pakistan Cricket Board in its statement said that NZC’s decision to pull out of the series was unilateral.
“Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured New Zealand Cricket of the same,” the PCB said in its statement.
“The Pakistan Prime Minister (Imran Khan) spoke personally to the Prime Minister of New Zealand (Jacinda Ardern) 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,” it added.
New Zealand was touring Pakistan for a bilateral limited-overs series for the first time since December 2003.
/ 6 months ago
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