In a dramatic development, the New Zealand cricket team have decided to abandon their tour of Pakistan hours before the start of their first One Day International in Rawalpindi. According to the New Zealand cricket board, the tour has been abruptly abandoned following a New Zealand government security alert.
The board has, however, refused to comment on the nature of the security threat.
The Kiwis were expected to play three ODIs and five T20 Internationals against Pakistan in Rawalpindi and Lahore respectively.
A statement by the board said, “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 from Pakistan.
NZC chief executive David White said that it was simply not possible to continue with the tour given the advice he was receiving.
He 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.”
New Zealand Cricket Players Association chief executive Heath Mills said, “We’ve been across this process throughout and are fully supportive of the decision.”
“The players are in good hands; they’re safe – and everyone’s acting in their best interests,” he added.