Islamabad, September, 17, (Asia Free Press): BlackCaps decided to postponed the ongoing tour of Pakistan, following a security alert, issued by their government minutes before toss of the first ODI between the two sides in Rawalpindi on Friday.
A press release by the PCB confirmed the statement.
“Earlier today, New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series.
“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.
New Zealand Cricket 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.
Pakistan rejects New Zealand security threat claims.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid says there was not threats, tour cancellation is part of “conspiracy.”
Pakistan on Friday rejected the claims that there was any threat to visiting New Zealand cricket team in the country.
Speaking to a news conference soon after New Zealand cricket board announcement to cancel its tour in Pakistan, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said there was no information with the country security agencies about any security threat to the visiting team.
“There was no security threat to the New Zealand team, their decision is part of conspiracy against us,” Pakistani interior minister said.
Without naming any country behind the “conspiracy” , Rashid said some powers trying to scapegoat Pakistan for their own failure in the region.
He was apparently referring to US and India who defeated by Taliban in Afghanistan.
According to Pakistani interior minister, the country security agencies made foolproof security arrangements for New Zealand cricket team and deployed over 4,000 police, army troops and Special Services Group.
He added that Pakistani authorities suggested New Zealand to hold the matches without spectators but they didn’t agreed.
“The prime minister was briefed on the matter. He then called New Zealand Prime Minister [Jacinda Ardern] and assured her that there was no security threat,” the interior minister said.
“They [New Zealand] took a unilateral decision to cancel their tour,” he said.
Responding to a question regarding England Cricket tour to Pakistan next month, Pakistani minister said England will decide about their tour and if they come Pakistan will provide them foolproof security.
Earlier on Friday, the New Zealand cricket team abruptly backed out of its tour just an hour before the first scheduled match in Rawalpindi, citing security threats.
In a statement, the New Zealand cricket border confirmed the development and said The BLACKCAPS are abandoning their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert.
The board refused to give further details about the nature of the threats.
Reacting to New Zealand cricket board decision, Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board Ramiz Raja termed it “frustrating”.
“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’s not shared!! Which world is NZ living in??NZ will hear us at ICC,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that earlier today, New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series.
“Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same,” said the PCB.
“ 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 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.