Pakistan vs New Zealand series called off: In a massive breaking news, the entire New Zealand tour of Pakistan has been called off due to some security concerns. Pakistan and New Zealand were originally scheduled to play 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is starting from the first ODI on 17 September. However, before the start of the first match of the tour, New Zealand Cricket Board informed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) about some security alert.
The three ODIs between Pakistan and New Zealand were supposed to be played in Rawalpindi before moving to Lahore for the five-match T20I series. However, following an escalation in the New Zealand Government and security threat received in Pakistan, the Kiwi side has decided to call off the entire tour. The arrangements are now being made for the safe departure of the New Zealand players.
“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. 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,” said the statement issued by the New Zealand Cricket board.
“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,” quoted NZC Chief Executive David White.
On the other hand, the Pakistan Cricket Board has clearly mentioned in their official statement that they made fool proof security arrangements for all visiting alongside the Pakistan Government. The press release also stated that the PCB is still willing to continue all the scheduled PAK vs NZ matches, however, the cricket fans all over the world have been deprived of some exciting action.
“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,” wrote PCB on Twitter.
This New Zealand tour cancellation could be a big dent to PCB’s constant attempts to reinstate international cricket fully in the country. This will have a large scale impact especially on the upcoming England tour of Pakistan scheduled next month.
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