New Zealand abandoned the tour on the day of the opening fixture on Friday citing a government security alert
New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson has stated that it’s a “real shame” that the Kiwis abandoned their first tour of Pakistan in 18 years.
Williamson, who was not part of the touring party as he is participating in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), said that the squad would have been gutted to miss out on the opportunity of playing in Pakistan.
“I don’t know the details of yesterday. It was a sudden call, but obviously, a real shame. Cricket in Pakistan is an amazing thing and so well supported. There is so much passion there and I think the guys will be gutted to not have started and playing the whole series. But I am not sure of the details since I am in Dubai for the IPL. I will find out a bit more about it over the next few days,” Williamson told Sportstar.
Williamson hoped that New Zealand Cricket’s decision will not hamper return of international cricket to Pakistan.
“I certainly hope not. You want to be playing the game in all countries. It is an international game and there is so much passion for it around the world, particularly in Pakistan. It was really exciting to see the series go back there and I know our team was looking forward to it. Players’ safety is paramount and when you hear messages going through from the government, it is certainly above the players’ heads,” he said.
“They were obviously over there, ready to go to the ground. It is a sudden thing that happened. I certainly hope there is no lasting impact from it because it is a special place for cricket to be and there have been a lot of strides forward to see cricket go back into Pakistan and play there safely. We have seen that happen on a number of occasions, so hopefully, there is plenty more cricket there to come,” he concluded.
New Zealand abandoned the tour on the day of the opening fixture on Friday citing a government security alert, while England are also reconsidering their men's and women's team visits to Pakistan next month.
The tour was due to start with the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi but New Zealand did not travel to the stadium.