- New Zealand called off their tour of Pakistan just minutes before the 1st ODI
- NZ Cricket said it received a security alert from its government and made the decision to pull out
- After abandoning tour, New Zealand cricket team to fly out of Pakistan today: PCB
Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan confirmed that a chartered flight will be coming on Saturday to take the New Zealand team after the visitors called off their tour of Pakistan just minutes before the 1st ODI.
“It is a very sad thing that has happened today,” Khan said.
The cricketing world and Pakistanis were left shocked on Friday after just minutes before the start of the first One-Day International between the two teams at the Pindi stadium, New Zealand Cricket CEO David White announced that they were calling their team back after receiving advice of a serious security threat.
But PCB Chairman, Ramiz Raja and Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed both said that the New Zealand board had not shared the security threat report with them.
Not surprisingly, Pakistan’s cricket community was fuming and some former stalwarts waded into New Zealand for causing untold harm to Pakistan cricket.
The Pakistan government and security officials are understandably upset at Friday’s development as besides 4000 policemen, commandos of the Pakistan Army’s Special Services Group (SSG) were also deployed for the matches in Rawalpindi.
The interior minister said at a press conference that they had even tried to convince New Zealand to play the match without spectators.
“But they did not agree to it,” he disclosed.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, however, said in a statement that nothing was paramount than the safety of players.
She said she could understand the disappointment in Pakistan but the security threat was such that it could not be ignored.
England men’s and women’s teams are now due to tour Pakistan in October.