Big blow to Babar Azam & Co.! New Zealand abandon Pakistan tour over security concerns

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Sep 17, 2021, 03:10 PM(IST)

Representative image: New Zealand's cricket team Photograph:( AFP )

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It was New Zealand's visit Pakistan for the first time in 18 years to play three one-day internationals and five Twenty20 matches in Rawalpindi and Lahore.

New Zealand's cricket team abandoned their tour of Pakistan following security concerns as it has been understood that the team refused to travel on Friday (September 17) to the stadium in Rawalpindi where they were due to play the first one-day international against Pakistan. 

A statement was released on the official site of the New Zealand cricket team: "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," the statement further added.  

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NZC chief executive David White said it was simply not possible to continue with the tour given the advice he was receiving.

"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."

The statement also added that New Zealand will not comment on the details of the security threat nor the updated arrangements for the departing squad.

New Zealand Cricket Players Association chief executive Heath Mills said, "We've been across this process throughout and are fully supportive of the decision."

"The players are in good hands; they're safe – and everyone's acting in their best interests," he added. 

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On the other hand, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Friday that New Zealand cricket officials had informed them that they were unilaterally suspending all their scheduled ODIs. 

"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," PCB said in statement.

It was New Zealand's visit Pakistan for the first time in 18 years to play three one-day internationals and five Twenty20 matches in Rawalpindi and Lahore.

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