NZ tour of PAK 2021 abandoned: Why have New Zealand abandoned their tour of Pakistan?

Dixit Bhargav
|Published 17/09/2021

NZ tour of PAK 2021 abandoned: New Zealand Cricket have decided to abandon their white-ball tour of Pakistan.

In a surprising set of developments, New Zealand have decided to abandon their tour of Pakistan which was originally scheduled to start from today with the first ODI to be played in Rawalpindi.

Confusion had started to mount after players and fans were nowhere to be found at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium even minutes before the scheduled toss time at 02:00 PM (local time).

The delay in toss was followed by an update that players of both the teams were asked to remain inside their hotel rooms. With no one aware about the reason behind the delay, a COVID-19 scare was being anticipated among players.

However, it was right after the scheduled start of play (02:30 PM) that both NZC (New Zealand Cricket) and PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) issued official statement with respect to the matter.

NZ tour of PAK 2021 abandoned

It was eventually learnt that New Zealand have decided to abandon the whole tour comprising of three ODIs and five T20Is due to “security concerns”.

“The side was to play Pakistan this evening in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi, before moving to Lahore for a five match T20 series,” NZC said in a statement.

“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.”

Taking matter to his own hands, former Pakistan captain and current Prime Minister Imran Khan personally called her New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern but even his assurance with respect to “one of the best” Intelligence Systems was unable to save the tour which would have been the first one under his former teammate Ramiz Raja (newly-elected PCB Chairman).

“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,” PCB said in a statement.

“PCB and Govt of Pakistan made fool proof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand cricket board of the same. 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 and that no security threat of any kind exists for the visting team.

“The security officials with the NZ team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Govt of Pakistan throughout their stay here. PCB is willing to continue the scheduled matches. However, cricket lovers in Pakistan and world over will be disappointed by this last minute withdrawal.”

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About the author
Dixit Bhargav

Dixit Bhargav

Born and brought up in Pathankot, Dixit Bhargav is an engineering and sports management graduate who is currently into his fifth year as a Cricket Editor at The SportsRush. His first cricketing memory dates back to 2002 when former India captain Sourav Ganguly had waved his jersey at the historic Lord’s balcony. What followed for an 8-year-old was an instant adulation for both Ganguly and the sport. The optimist in him is waiting for the day when Punjab Kings will win their maiden Indian Premier League title. When not watching cricket, he is mostly found in a cinema hall watching a Punjabi movie.

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