New Zealand has called off their limited-overs tour to Pakistan in light of security concerns. This leaves the cricket community of Pakistan not happy. PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja was particularly harsh about New Zealand Cricket’s decision. New Zealand Cricket decision, noting that “Walking away from the tournament due to making a unilateral decision on the security issue is disappointing. It is especially frustrating when the threat isn’t shared! Which one do you think NZ experiencing? NZ will be heard in the ICC. ICC.”
The tour, which included three T20Is and five ODIs was to kick off today, beginning with the opening ODI taking place in Rawalpindi however neither team left their hotels early in the morning before the game, and the spectators weren’t allowed into the stadium.
Following some uncertainty in which details about the reason behind the delay were sought in the meantime, an NZC statement was released which reads “Following an increase in New Zealand Government threats to Pakistan as well as advice from NZC security experts in Pakistan It has been decided that the Blackcaps are not going to continue with their tour.”
The New Zealand contingent in Pakistan is now getting ready for the departure of Pakistan.
“I am aware that this could be an affront to the PCB which has been excellent hosts, however, player safety is of paramount importance and we believe that this is the only sensible option,” NZC chief executive David White said in the statement.
Jacinda Ardern Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand prime minister who talked to Imran Khan their counterpart in Pakistan She insisted that player safety was the top priority. “When I had a conversation with the premier of Pakistan I expressed our gratitude for the charge of our New Zealand cricket team,” she was quoted by local media back from New Zealand. “I understand how depressing everyone will feel that the match hasn’t moved ahead, but we fully agree with the decision taken. The safety of the players is at the forefront.”
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.— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) September 17, 2021
The PCB issued an announcement expressing its displeasure with what it described as a “unilateral” choice.
“Earlier this morning earlier today, it was reported that the New Zealand cricket board informed us that they were informed of a security alert and they have decided unilaterally to delay the game,” the statement said. “PCB along with the Govt of Pakistan made foolproof security arrangements for all teams that are visiting. The PCB has promised our New Zealand cricket board the same. The Prime Minister spoke directly with the Premier of New Zealand and informed her that we have one of the most advanced intelligence systems in the world. She also assured that there is no security risk whatsoever exists for the team that is visiting.
“The security officials of the NZ team are satisfied with the security arrangements arranged by the Govt of Pakistan throughout their time here.”
Concerning “foolproof security” There was a significant increase in security in the area leading to Rawalpindi stadium. Rawalpindi stadium has been evident since cricket re-emerged in Pakistan. Roadblocks were set up at a distance of several miles from the stadium hours before the scheduled time and security searches were thorough. It was reported that the New Zealand squad had landed in Islamabad on the 11th of September and was able to hold three training sessions prior to the inaugural ODI. The two teams were in a hotel that with all security measures set, was 15 minutes drive from the stadium.
It was the first visit to Pakistan in 18 years following the 2003 tour. The ODI series was actually the continuation of the tour in 2002 which was cancelled following an explosion at the hotel that the tourists from New Zealand were in near Karachi.
The demise of the tour is likely to cause concern for the PCB ahead of an international home season that is a flurry of activity. England’s women and men’s teams are scheduled to travel to Pakistan in the month of March, but since the ECB utilize the same security professionals as NZC there will be questions asked. In the course of this season, players from West Indies, Australia and New Zealand are all scheduled to travel to Pakistan.
Heather Knight had said just a few days ago she was expecting an update on security for the Pakistan tour that is scheduled to take place in conjunction with England men’s scheduled white-ball tour. It will also have double-headers with 2 T20Is at Karachi.
“Things are clearly changing fast at the moment, however, we’re still having conversations or waiting for some things to test and figure out what’s likely to transpire,” she had said. “So we hope that things are considered secure. It’s not in my hands and that of the team and it’s the team members above to make these decisions, however, we’re constantly in conversation and things will get better I’m sure in the coming weeks.”
The Pakistan team is scheduled to disperse later today afternoon. This afternoon, the New Zealand contingent has not yet made any comments on the arrangements for departure and their schedule.
International Cricket in Pakistan has been played with a comparatively high frequently in the last couple of years. Since the year 2017 when the PSL final took place within Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and South Africa have all visited for ODIs, T20Is as well as Tests. every tour running without security problems. Eight PSL matches were played in Karachi in 2018 while the complete tournament was played in Pakistan in the year 2019. In the year since Sri Lanka played a Test series in Pakistan in the year 2019, and the PCB expressed its intention to transfer all its home games in Pakistan away from UAE for a long time.