The New Zealand cricket team on Friday canceled its current tour of Pakistan, citing security, just before the start of the first ODI. However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that there was no threat to the security of the New Zealand team.
The New Zealand team was to play the first match of the 3-match ODI series against Pakistan in Rawalpindi from today i.e. Friday, after that they had to play a 5-match T20 series in Lahore.
In fact, the trouble started when the first ODI of the limited overs series did not start on time at the Rawalpindi Stadium on Friday and both the teams remained in their hotel rooms. Following this, New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White issued a statement saying that it was not possible to continue the tour given the advice he was receiving.
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“I think it will be a blow to the PCB which has been a wonderful host but the safety of the players is paramount and we believe this is a responsible option for this,” he said. New Zealand Cricket did not elaborate on the security threats or comment on arrangements being made for the team’s return.
The Pakistan Cricket Board, on its part, said that New Zealand made a unilateral decision to postpone the series. The PCB said in a statement that the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Government of Pakistan make elaborate security arrangements for all the visiting teams. We also assured New Zealand Cricket about it.
The PCB said that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan personally spoke to the Prime Minister of New Zealand and told her that we have the best intelligence system in the world and there is no security threat of any kind to the visiting team.
The PCB said that the security officials accompanying the New Zealand team were also satisfied with the security arrangements here. The statement said that the PCB is ready to continue organizing the matches. Cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world will be disappointed with the series being canceled at the last minute. 3 ODIs and 5 T20 International matches were to be played in this series.
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