While Pakistan are still taken aback at New Zealand's abrupt cancellation of their cricket tour of the South Asian country owing to a perceived security threat, Chris Gayle has backed the country in its time of need. The swashbuckling left-handed batter took the internet by storm when he wrote, "I'm going to Pakistan tomorrow."
His post attracted a large number of comments from Pakistani fans who appreciated his gesture of supporting the country in such a time. In fact, Gayle's statement has become the talking point on social media.
The 41-year-old West Indian, who remains a popular figure around the world, not only announced that he was flying to Pakistan but also invited others to accompany him. His tweet was even shared by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Here is Chris Gayle's tweet:
Pakistan's left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir also welcomed Gayle's gesture and responded to his tweet by saying, "See u there legend."
Amir had earlier criticised New Zealand for abandoning the much-awaited Pakistan tour as he said that their decision will come back to bite them in the future.
"[Hi New Zealand] might b we as a Pakistani will forgive u because we are a loving nation but this act will bite u in future for sure," he said on the microblogging website.
Here is what Amir wrote:
Notably, just before the start of the ODI series opener at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, the New Zealand Cricket Board on Friday opted to back out of the tour as they cited alert from their government. However, while they have not revealed the details of the security threat that they had received, they did not agree to play despite assurance from Pakistan's Prime Minister and their former cricket team captain Imran Khan.
The Pakistan Cricket Board then informed in a statement that the NZC had decided to abandon the series owing to security concerns and the fact that it was a unilateral decision.
The New Zealand team has already flown out of Pakistan and have landed in Dubai where they will be gearing up for the T20 World Cup.