New Zealand Cricket (NZC), on Friday, announced that they have decided to abandon their tour to Pakistan citing security concerns. The decision was announced minutes before the commencement of the first ODI and thus, attracted a lot of backlash from Pakistani supporters. Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar also reacted to this news and criticized New Zealand for their last-minute decision.
Akhtar has been pretty vocal about the happenings around world cricket and he did not shy away from commenting his views on this particular happening either. Akhtar took to Twitter to criticize NZC and alleged that they have killed Pakistan cricket. “NZ just killed Pakistan cricket ,” he wrote.
Have a look at his tweet here:
He reminded New Zealand about how Pakistan stood strong with them and few other points including the death of 9 Pakistanis in the Christchurch attack. He also said that “Pakistan toured New Zealand in the worst of Covid circumstances regardless of the crude treatment by NZ authorities on that tour”.
NZC abandoned the tour over security alerts from the NZ government
New Zealand Cricket said that they have decided to abandon their tour due to security concerns. They released a statement regarding the same which said that they have received security alerts from the New Zealand government and hence cannot carry on with the tour. “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,” said NZC chief executive David White.
NZC unilaterally decided to postpone series: PCB
The Pakistan Cricket Board was left in a state of shock at NZC’s decision to postpone the series. The board released a statement and said that NZC unilaterally decided to postpone the series despite assurance from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. “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...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..,” said PCB in the statement. “PCB is willing to continue the scheduled matches,” it further stated.
Notably, New Zealand was all set to play Pakistan on their home soil after 18 long years. They last played in Pakistan in 2003 when they played a five-match ODI series under the leadership of Chris Cairns.