Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021: The White ball series abandoned over Security Concerns

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Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021: The White ball series abandoned over Security Concerns

New Zealand vs Pakistan 2021: Just minutes before the start of the first ODI, the New Zealand Cricket abandoned the white-ball tour of Pakistan after the board received intelligence from their government about a security threat.

“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,” a board release from New Zealand stated.

New Zealand was scheduled to play three ODIs in Rawalpindi starting from today followed by a five-match T20I series in Lahore. But now the entire tour has been postponed following New Zealand’s expression of concern over security.

However, the PCB said that foolproof security arrangements had been in place for the New Zealand Cricket team, just like other visiting teams. Even the prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, spoke to his counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, in New Zealand assuring her of the same.

“The security officials with the New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan Government throughout their stay here,” a PCB statement read.

“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.”

NZC Chief Executive David White said that it was absolutely not possible to go ahead with the tour after the advice he has received from New Zealand Government. “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.”

Even New Zealand Cricket Players Association Chief executive Heath Mills was in consent with White’s decision. “We’ve been across this process throughout and are fully supportive of the decision,” he said. “The players are in good hands; they’re safe – and everyone’s acting in their best interests”, Heath Mills added to his statement.

The cancellation of New Zealand’s white-ball tour of Pakistan just minutes before its commencement could be a major blow to PCB’s sheer efforts to resume International cricket fully in the country following a lengthy period of isolation from international cricket due to the 2009 militant attacks on the Sri Lanka team bus. New Zealand’s last-minute decision to pull out of the limited-overs series may also have an impact on England’s T20I series against New Zealand that is scheduled to begin next month. England is scheduled to tour Pakistan for the first time in 16 years for a short T20I series in October 2021.

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