In a major disappointment for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), New Zealand vs Pakistan limited-overs series got called-off minutes before the toss of the 1st ODI at Rawalpindi. The visitors abruptly cancelled the series and decided to head back to New Zealand citing security threats to the players and other members.
According to the statement released by the visitors, the New Zealand government informed the team of possible security threats owing to their intelligence reports.
“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,” a board release from New Zealand stated.
The entire tour has now been called off with Pakistan cricketers getting stranded once again in the middle of the sea due to the poor track record of Pakistan as a state in the matter of terrorism.
Hours after the development from New Zealand Cricket Board, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA) came into action as the two boards have their respective tours lined up in Pakistan in the coming months.
The ECB informed that the cricket board will take its call anytime in the next 48 hours according to the actual ground reports. England will travel to Pakistan in October for two T20I matches.
“We’re aware of New Zealand’s decision to pull out of the Pakistan tour due to a security alert,” an ECB spokesperson said to ESPNcricinfo.
“We are liaising with our security team who are on the ground in Pakistan to fully understand the situation. The ECB Board will then decide in the next 24-48 hours whether our planned tour should proceed.”
The call-off of the New Zealand series will be a huge setback for the hosts as Pakistan looked rooted in reviving their country’s image as a cricket playing nation. The country lost its status back in 2009 when major cricket teams started avoiding Pakistan visits for test tours. Several short cricketing events have been organised since then, however, a big event like a big test tour is yet to come.
After the tour of England, West Indies and Australia are also scheduled to travel to Pakistan for their respective tours.