New Zealand on Friday pulled out of their cricket series against
Pakistan over security concerns just minutes after the first one-day
international was due to start.
The move is a massive setback to
Pakistan, which has been trying to revive tours by foreign sides after
home internationals were suspended in the aftermath of a terror attack
on the Sri Lankan side in 2009.
“Following an escalation in the
New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan, and advice from (New
Zealand Cricket) security advisors on the ground, it has been decided
the BLACKCAPS will not continue with the tour,” New Zealand Cricket said
in a statement.
Arrangements are being made for the team to leave the country.
Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said Pakistan had been
“wonderful hosts”, but “player safety is paramount and we believe this
is the only responsible option”.
The Kiwis are in Pakistan for the first time since 2003 and were due to play three ODIs, followed by five Twenty20 matches.
They previously cut short a tour in 2002 after a bomb blast outside their team hotel in Karachi killed 14 French naval staff.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said New Zealand had made the decision unilaterally.
“The PCB is willing to continue the scheduled matches,” it said in a statement.
Other tours at risk
the match was to start, Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke with his New
Zealand counterpart Jacinda Adern “and assured her that New Zealand team
is provided foolproof security”, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry
Khan is himself a former international player and cricketing hero.
security officials with the New Zealand team have been satisfied with
security arrangements made by the Pakistan Government throughout their
stay here,” the PCB statement continued.
A security delegation
from New Zealand last month inspected arrangements in Pakistan and it
was only after their clearance the tour was given a go-ahead.
of the squad arrived on Saturday and Sunday with a level of security
usually reserved for visiting heads of state that included armed guards
escorting their bulletproof buses.
Their Islamabad hotel has been guarded by a heavy paramilitary and police contingent.
are due to host England for two Twenty20 internationals next month,
while the West Indies and Australia are also to tour in the next six
All three tours may now be in jeopardy.
Pakistan’s interior minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad was due to make a statement later in the day over the issue.
The BLACKCAPS are abandoning their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert.
Arrangements are now being made for the team’s departure.
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— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) September 17, 2021
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