New Zealand were supposed to play their first ODI match against Pakistan at Rawalpindi. But New Zealand pulled themselves out of the series moments before the start of the play. It is reported that New Zealand abandoned their limited over series against Pakistan amid security concerns. A cloud of uncertainty was looming ever since the players did not leave their hotel room and the fans were not allowed to enter the stadium.
New Zealand cricket board released a statement which read: “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.”
PCB’s chairman Ramiz Raja was very disappointed by New Zealand’s last-minute call off. He released a statement from his twitter handle which read: “Crazy day it has been! Feel so sorry for the fans and our players. Walking out of the tour by taking a unilateral approach on a security threat is very frustrating. Especially when it is not shared! Which world is NZ living in? NZ will hear us at ICC.”
Ramiz Raja was recently selected as the chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board unanimously after being recommended by the Prime Minister and PCB’s Patron-in-Chief Imran Khan.
NZC chief executive David White said: “I understand this will be a blow for the PCB, who have been wonderful hosts, but player safety is paramount and we believe this is the only responsible option.”
PCB in response to that released a statement which stated: “The security officials with the New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan Government throughout their stay here,” a PCB statement read.
“PCB is willing to continue the scheduled matches. However, cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world will be disappointed by this last-minute withdrawal.”
The New Zealand cricket team is now preparing to leave the country. New Zealand cricket team arrived in Pakistan on 11 September. They have had three training sessions since then. Both the teams were at the same hotel which was 15 minutes away from the stadium. This was New Zealand’s first tour in 18 years. They last visited the country in 2008 which had to be cancelled after an explosion near the hotel were the Kiwis were residing.
The series comprised of three ODIs and five T20 matches. The ODI matches were scheduled to take place at Rawalpindi on September 17, 19 and 21. The five T20 matches were scheduled to take place on September 25, 26, 29, and October 1 and 3 in Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.