Aakash Chopra fears 'serious consequences' ahead for Pakistan as NZ abandon tour on security grounds

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Sep 17, 2021, 03:34 PM(IST)

NZ abandon Pak tour over security issue Photograph:( AFP )

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The New Zealand cricket team have abandoned its historic Pakistan tour on security grounds. Aakash Chopra fears this may be the start of more problems for Pakistan cricket.
 

New Zealand Cricket team (NZC) have abandoned their historic tour of Pakistan, on security grounds, just before the tour opener could get underway on Friday (September 17). The visitors have cancelled the tour and are set to return back home. 

As per the board's official release, the tour has been called off due to a security alert. For the unversed, the Black Caps had arrived in Pakistan for a limited-overs tour, comprising three ODIs and five T20Is, after a long gap of 18 years. Their last international tour to the Asian country was in December 2003. 

"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 the world over will be disappointed by this last-minute withdrawal," the NZC board's official statement read.

Following the tour cancellation, former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has expressed his concerns for Pakistan cricket, who were now slowly getting on its feet with regard to hosting games on home soil. He tweeted saying, "NZ has canceled their tour to Pakistan hours before the start of the first match…citing security concerns. This might have serious consequences on the future tours to Pakistan. England-Australia and NZ (again) slated to travel to Pak in the next 12 months."

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New Zealand were set to play three ODIs and five T20Is versus Babar Azam & Co. before the T20 World Cup. However, the tour cancellation at the last minute has put PCB under the scanner.

PCB's official statement read, "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 NZ 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 around the world will be disappointed by this last minute withdrawal."

It remains to be seen what the future holds like for NZ's tour of Pakistan. Will it be rescheduled later? For now, times are bleak for Pakistan cricket and their ardent fans.

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