17 Sep 2021: New Zealand's white-ball series in Pakistan canceled over security concerns
In a major development, New Zealand's white-ball series in Pakistan has been abandoned due to security concerns. The development came moments before the toss of the first ODI. As per ESPNcricinfo, the players and support staff were told to stay inside their rooms in Rawalpindi. Notably, New Zealand were scheduled to play three ODIs and five T20Is in Pakistan. Here are further details.
Statement: A look at the official statement
"The side was to play Pakistan in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi. However, following an escalation in the New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan, and advice from NZC security advisors on the ground, it has been decided the BLACKCAPS will not continue with the tour. Arrangements are now being made for the team's departure," a New Zealand Cricket release said.
PCB: Here is what the PCB said
The Pakistan Cricket Board asserted there were foolproof security arrangements in place. As per the board, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan assured them to the officials in New Zealand. "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," a release from the PCB read.
Fact: New Zealand had reached Islamabad on September 11
The New Zealand squad had landed in Islamabad on September 11. Their players had been part of three training sessions ever since. Both the squads were staying in a hotel which followed all security protocols. The hotel was nearly 15 minutes away from the stadium.
Tour: This was NZ's first tour to Pakistan in 18 years
New Zealand were scheduled to play three ODIs and five T20Is in Pakistan. They had toured the nation for the first time in 18 years. Prior to this tour, the Kiwis last visited Pakistan in 2003. Pakistan had routed them 5-0 in the ODI series. Interestingly, New Zealand haven't won an international game in Pakistan since 1996.
Fact: PCB is trying to reinstate international cricket in Pakistan
The PCB is trying to reinstate international cricket in Pakistan. In 2019, Test cricket returned to the nation after a decade. The attack on the Sri Lankan team bus outside the Gaddafi Stadium, in 2009, resulted in suspension of all international cricket in the country.
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Also see: India won't play ODI series in New Zealand this year
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