Sports

Kiwis ditches Pakistan at eleventh hour; PCB in ‘shock and disbelief’

The PCB has been left in a state of “shock and disbelief” by New Zealand’s abrupt abandonment of their tour to Pakistan. New Zealand Cricket called off the tour – their first to Pakistan in 18 years – minutes before the first ODI was scheduled to start in Rawalpindi, acting on a security alert from their government. That decision has led to mounting frustration and anger within the Pakistan board, as well as fears of how it may impact their calendar this season and beyond.

Too much of the disappointment of the cricket-lovers in Pakistan, the New Zealand team has called off its one-day and T20I series minutes before the state of the first one-day international at Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on Friday.

The New Zealand cricket board citing security reasons and taking a decision on their own cancelled the series, to be played after an 18-year gap.

The series was called off only minutes before the first one-dayer was due to start at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi.

In a statement issued on its website, Pakistan Cricket Board said the series was cancelled due to security reasons. “New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series,” the PCB statement added.

“Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all the 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 PCB statement further said.

The security officials with the New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan government throughout their stay here.

The 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.

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