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New Zealand pull out of Pakistan tour due to security concerns

By BetBarter Staff

September 17, 2021

The limited-overs series between New Zealand and Pakistan has been abandoned due to security concerns. New Zealand were touring the country after a gap of 18 years and were set to clash in three ODIs and five T20Is.  However, they pulled out of the series after New Zealand security agencies warned them. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) released a statement and said that arrangements are being made for the touring party to travel back to their country.

NZC chief executive David White revealed that the tour was postponed as players safety is paramount for NZC.

“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.”

New Zealand Cricket Players Association chief executive Heath Mills said, "We’ve been across this process throughout and are fully supportive of the decision,” he said. “The players are in good hands; they’re safe – and everyone’s acting in their best interests.”

Earlier, there were reports that the series has been cancelled as few New Zealand players have tested positive for COVID-19. However, they turned out to be mere rumours. The development is a massive setback to Pakistan as they are set to host England and Australia in the coming months.

Over the last decade or so, Pakistan was barred from hosting matches and teams were not willing to travel to the country after the deadly attack on the Sri Lanka team in 2009. But, having hosted teams like Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and South Africa, cricket was returning to normalcy in Pakistan. However, New Zealand pulling out of the series has pushed them back.

Meanwhile, PCB also released a statement and said that Pakistan PM Imran Khan assured full proof security to the players yet New Zealand decided to pull out of the series which is disappointing.

“Earlier today, the New Zealand cricket board informed us that they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series. PCB and Govt of Pakistan made fool proof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand cricket board of the same.

The 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 NZ team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Govt of Pakistan throughout their stay here. PCB is willing to continue the scheduled matches. However, cricket lovers in Pakistan and world over will be disappointed by this last-minute withdrawal,” said PCB in a statement.