New Zealand abandon Pakistan tour after security alert
The Black Caps were due to play Pakistan in the first of three one-day internationals in Rawalpindi yesterday before moving to Lahore for a five-match Twenty20 series.
New Zealand’s decision to abandon their tour came after ‘an escalation in the New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan”.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has said it will not comment on the details of the security threat with plans being put in place for the team to return home.
“I understand this will be a blow for the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board), who have been wonderful hosts but player safety is paramount and we believe this is the only responsible option,” said NZC Chief Executive David White.
In a statement, the PCB said that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan – a former Pakistan Cricket Captain – had spoken to his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern and told her that ‘no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team’.
“Earlier, New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series,” the statement said.
“Pakistan Cricket Board and the Pakistan Government made fool-proof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured New Zealand Cricket of the same.”
“The Pakistan 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 New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan Government throughout their stay here.”
“PCB is willing to continue the scheduled matches. However, cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world will be disappointed by this last-minute withdrawal.”