It's been a shocking day in world of cricket as New Zealand, who were set to lock horns with Pakistan in 1st ODI at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Friday, called off the whole tour just a few minutes before the toss. In a dramatic sequence of events, the BLACKCAPS announced in an official statement that they are abandoning their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert.
It was supposed to be New Zealand's first game in the country in 18 years and there was a lot of excitement among the fans in Pakistan. The 3-match ODI series, followed by 5 T20Is, was being regarded as the landmark event for Pakistan cricket who are slowly and steadily trying to open the doors for all the international teams.
I understand this will be a blow for the PCB: David White
However, decision of New Zealand backing out at the last minute will not only have financial implications but could also have a major impact on all the future series that Pakistan have planned to host in next few months.
While it was confirmed that arrangements were being made for New Zealand players to return from Pakistan, NZC chief executive David White said, "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.”
Ramiz Raja is disappointed with Kiwis pulling out of tour
PCB chairman Ramiz Raja finally broke his silence on the series of events that unfolded on Friday. The 59-year-old was expectedly disappointed with the Kiwis pulling out of the tour at the eleventh hour without even consulting the Pakistan Cricket Board. In an angry tweet, Raja also issued a warning to New Zealand, confirming that the issue will be raised to ICC.
He tweeted, "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."
While the current series is already canceled for now, there are also doubts over Pakistan's next series against England (scheduled to begin on October 13) with reports stating that ECB will announce their decision in next 24-48 hours if they will be traveling to Pakistan or not.