New Zealand's tour of Pakistan has been completely canceled due to safety concerns, just minutes before the toss for the first one-day international was going to take place in Rawalpindi on Friday.
The New Zealand cricket team is reported to have refused to enter in the field and remain inside their hotel rooms after New Zealand security advisers advised them to do so. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said New Zealand Cricket informed it that “they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series.
Pakistan was scheduled to host New Zealand for a series of 3 internationals and 5 T20 internationals in Rawalpindi and Lahore from September 17 to October 3.
According to an NZC release: "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.
The BLACKCAPS are abandoning their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert.— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) September 17, 2021
Arrangements are now being made for the team’s departure.
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“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. Arrangements are now being made for the team's departure."
Remind you, the New Zealand cricket team arrived in Pakistan on September 11 for a limited over series representing the country's first international kiwi series since 2003.
PCB WILLING TO CONTINUE
The Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed the developments and expressed their disappointment but also said that they are ready to proceed with the scheduled matches.
"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. 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.
“PCB is willing to continue the scheduled matches. However, cricket lovers in Pakistan and world over will be disappointed by this last-minute withdrawal," the PCB statement said.