The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) revealed that Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke personally with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Andern to assure her of security arrangements. Khan reached out after New Zealand cricket authorities raised security concerns about the national team’s tour of Pakitan.
However, PCB’s efforts yielded little fruit. The Kiwis decided to withdraw from the series minutes before the first ODI and will travel back home.
In a statement issued through its Twitter account, the PCB stated that the Government of Pakistan had security measures for the New Zealand side and that there was no security threat.
“Earlier today, the New Zealand cricket board informed us that they had been alerted to some security alert and had unilaterally decided to postpone the series. The PCB and the Pakistani government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the same to the New Zealand cricket table. The Prime Minister spoke personally with the Prime Minister of New Zealand and informed her that we have one of the best intelligence systems in the world and that there is no security threat of any kind to the visiting team. “
The PCB added that cricket lovers in the country and around the world would be disappointed with the development.
“The PCB is willing to continue with the scheduled matches. However, cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world will be disappointed by this last minute withdrawal. “
New Zealand was scheduled to play three ODI and five T20I in Pakistan. However, the drama unfolded just before the start of the first ODI, and visitors withdrew from the tour citing safety concerns.
Extremely disappointed by the abrupt postponement of the series: Pakistan Babar Azam pattern
Pakistan captain Babar Azam took to Twitter to express his disappointment at the cancellation of the series. He felt that the series would have brought happiness to the millions of fans of the game in Pakistan.
“Extremely disappointed by the abrupt postponement of the series, which could have brought smiles back to millions of Pakistani cricketers.”
Babar Azam also reiterated his trust in the country’s security agencies.
“I have full confidence in the capabilities and credibility of our security agencies. They are our pride and always will be! “
New Zealand’s withdrawal from the tour has jeopardized Pakistan’s plans to function as a host nation, at least for the near future. The move has also raised questions about Pakistan’s scheduled home series against England’s men’s and women’s teams in October.