New Zealand have called off their limited-overs tour of Pakistan on the day when the first ODI was slated to be played. The reason of the cancellation is said to be security concerns in Pakistan. New Zealand were visiting Pakistan for the first time in 18 years and they were supposed to play three ODIs and five T20Is.
Players and support staff members from both sides did not come out of the hotel and were asked to stay in their rooms. Spectators were not allowed to enter the stadium.
“However, 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,” read the NZC statement.
The chief executive of NZC 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 (Pakistan Cricket Board), who have been wonderful hosts, but player safety is paramount and we believe this is the only responsible option.”
“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.”
New Zealand cricketers enetred on September 11 after losing the T20I series vs Bangladesh 3-2.
The Pakistan Cricket Board issued a statement shortly after the New Zealand Cricket released one that stated that no security threats of any king existed for the visitors.
“Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same. The Pakistan Prime Minister (Imran Khan) spoke personally to the Prime Minister of New Zealand (Jacinda Ardern) 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.”