Former captain said that New Zealand’s decision to unilaterally opt out of the series was absolutely wrong and should not be tolerated
Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has made a bold statement claiming that other cricketing nations should not follow in the footsteps of India and ruin their ties with Pakistan and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
In an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, Afridi expressed his regret over the recent New Zealand tour debacle and said Pakistan’s reputation was “seriously damaged”.
“We all know that there is a huge amount of scrutiny when it comes to arranging tours. Proper investigations are conducted by the security members of the touring nation. The routes are defined and only when the process is completed, that is when the teams are given the green signal to visit the country,” said Afridi.
Afridi said that New Zealand’s decision to unilaterally opt out of the series was absolutely wrong and should not be tolerated.
“New Zealand cricketers are loved in Pakistan and for them to do something like this is unforgivable. If there was any potential threat, they should have been shared with the PCB and waited for Pakistan’s security forces to assess the situation,” Afridi remarked.
Commenting on the reports that the bogus threat was originated from India and it was a ploy to defame Pakistan, Afridi agreed.
“If we look at the big picture then of course, we can all see who is behind this agenda. These fake emails should not be given too much attention and educated countries must distance themselves from the India-Pakistan feud and make their decisions in isolation,” he said.
The 44-year-old further stated that ICC has a huge responsibility to address these matters and pass a strong ruling.
“The governing body should not sit in silence while Pakistan suffers and teams continue to cancel their tours without any proof and repercussions,” he said.
Some suggested that Pakistan should boycott their fixture against New Zealand in the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup but Afridi disagreed.
“We should respond to our critics with our performances and by winning the matches. We need to ensure they we deliver in the World Cup,” he concluded.