There is growing uncertainty over New Zealand’s historic tour to Pakistan scheduled to be held in September due to political tensions in Afghanistan as Taliban has captured Afghanistan. New Zealand is scheduled to tour Bangaldesh next week to play in five T20Is followed by a limited-overs tour of New Zealand to Pakistan.
Led by Tom Latham, New Zealand’s second-string team under the coaching of Glenn Pocknall is scheduled to leave for Dhaka on Monday. New Zealand’s mainstream players like Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson, Trent Boult, and Lockie Ferguson will not be available for either series.
New Zealand Cricket Players Association’s Chief Executive Heath Mills revealed to the media that they have a thorough process implemented led by security teams to do a full security check. Mills is feeling sorry for what the citizens of Afghanistan are going through, he asserted that New Zealand players have also expressed their concerns about the situation in Pakistan.
He said, “We’re very comfortable with the process we’ve got, but notwithstanding that, with events in Afghanistan in the last few days, it’s very sad what’s happening in that country and people are obviously asking questions of our security check processes. That includes players, which is completely understandable. We just need to assure them of the process, and follow it, and reach a determination.”
According to reports, Independent Security consultant Reg Dickason will visit Pakistan to assess the security situation. It will take almost “four to five days” to assess whether the New Zealand tour of Pakistan could go ahead or not. Reg Dickason who will travel with the players if the series goes ahead has the right to pull out the entire contingent if necessary.
Elaborating on the plan, Mills said,“That will take him four or five days and then he’ll report back, and recommend whether the tour goes ahead, or it doesn’t for whatever reason… if there are changes to whatever the plan might be. And at any point, if he’s uncomfortable he would communicate that and the team would exit Pakistan.”
New Zealand’s tour includes three ODIs & five T20Is in Rawalpindi and Lahore respectively. The ODIs are scheduled for September 17, 19, and 21 while the T20s are slated for September 25, 26, 29, October 1, and 3.