New Zealand calls off Pakistan tour minutes before first ODI citing 'security alert'

Sports    17-Sep-2021
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Wellington, Sept 17: The New Zealand Cricket (NZC) announced that the Blackcaps are abandoning their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert. The side was set to play Pakistan on Friday in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi, before moving to Lahore for a five-match T20 series. New Zealand was slated to play their first match on Pakistan soil since 2003.
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The NZC release stated, "The side was to play Pakistan this evening in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi, before moving to Lahore for a five-match T20 series. 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."
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.”
New Zealand Cricket Players Association chief executive Heath Mills echoed Mr White’s sentiments. "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. NZC will not comment on the details of the security threat nor the updated arrangements for the departing squad," the statement stated.
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However, Pakistan Cricket board tweeted “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.”
“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 added.