The first ODI match was scheduled to take place in Rawalpindi today
New Zealand have abandoned tour of Pakistan amid security concerns, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Friday.
The first One-day International (ODI) between the two sides was set to be played in Rawalpindi today.
“Earlier today, New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series,” a press release from the PCB stated.
“Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same. The Pakistan Prime Minister spoke personally to the Prime Minister of New Zealand and informed her that we have one of the best intelligence systems in the world and that no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team,” the statement added.
It must be noted that the security officials with the New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan Government throughout their stay here.
“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 statement concluded.
NZC Chief Executive David White said it was simply not possible to continue with the tour given the advice he was receiving.
“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,” said White.
New Zealand Cricket Players Association Chief Executive Heath Mills echoed White’s sentiments.
“We’ve been across this process throughout and are fully supportive of the decision,” said Mills. “The players are in good hands; they’re safe – and everyone’s acting in their best interests.”
Pakistan’s Federal Minister for information and Broadcasting also backed Pakistan’s security arrangements despite concerns shown by the New Zealand government.
ہماری انٹیلی جنس ایجنسیز دنیا کے بہترین انٹیلی جنس سسٹمز میں شامل ہیں اور ان کی رائے میں نیوزی لینڈ کی ٹیم کو کسی قسم کے خطرہ نہیں ہے، تاہم نیوزی لینڈ کی وزیر اعظم نے ازحد احتیاط کی پالیسی کے پیش نظر دورہ ملتوی کرنے کی استدعا کی— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) September 17, 2021
On a HOAX threat you have called-off the tour despite all assurances!! @BLACKCAPS do you understand the IMPACT of your decision?— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) September 17, 2021
Pakistan 🇵🇰 is Safe & Proud nation. Postponing series is absolutely Sad news for whole Nation.— Mohammad Hafeez (@MHafeez22) September 17, 2021
Wish I had words to describe my disappointment. We not only have the best security force in the world but many foreign teams have successfully & peacefully completed their cricket tours in Pakistan. Can feel for the cricket lovers in Pakistan & around the world. #PakistanZindabad— Shaheen Shah Afridi (@iShaheenAfridi) September 17, 2021
We were very exited,ready and looking forward to the PkVsNz matches.A real disappointment for all of us,the @TheRealPCB,support staff,players and I am sure the nation.Our government and officials have provided us with a very high level of security.Such a shame to witness this day— Saqlain Mushtaq (@Saqlain_Mushtaq) September 17, 2021
Disappointed waking up to the news of the cancellation of the Pakistan Vs New Zealand series because of security issues.Over the last 6 years playing and visiting Pakistan has been one of the most enjoyable experiences. I’ve always felt safe. this is a massive blow to Pakistan ☹️— Daren Sammy (@darensammy88) September 17, 2021
My country is safe. And my country is safe for cricket. This is a heartbreaking moment for us as a team and for all the fans. We will keep making our efforts iA💪🏻Pakistan Zindabad!🇵🇰🇵🇰— Imam Ul Haq (@ImamUlHaq12) September 17, 2021
It is making me more sad thinking about how upset our fans must be after receiving this news. To the world, I want to repeat our country is safe for cricket.— Hassan Ali 🇵🇰 (@RealHa55an) September 17, 2021
To our fans, We the Pakistan team promise we will turn these sad feelings into happy ones In Shaa Allah 💪🏻
Pakistan has made monumental efforts to get international cricket back on track. We’ve lost a lot with no international cricket for 6 years in the past and today might set us back again. The pulling out and the abrupt timing of the decision is extremely disappointing. #PAKvNZ— Shan Masood (@shani_official) September 17, 2021