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N. Zealand abandons the cricket series

Cricket: New Zealand tour of Pakistan abandoned due to security concerns

RAWALPINDI: New Zealand Cricket Board upon receiving security threat alert from their government on Friday (17th of September, 2021) has unilaterally decided to call-off their limited-overs tour of Pakistan and leave the country post haste. 

NZ govt had been warned by ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance about ‘direct and imminent’ threat to Kiwis in the land of the pures. It may be noted that the Five Eyes is comprised of US, UK, NZ, Australia & Canada.

PM Imran Khan called PM NZ Jacinda Ardern: He assured her that there were no threats to the guests as Pakistan’s security agencies were the best in the world and the Black Caps were being provided state-level protocol. Yet the New Zealand Government had decided to call their Cricket team immediately back.

PM Jacinda Ardern commenting on the development told: “When I spoke with the Prime Minister of Pakistan I conveyed our thanks for taking care of the New Zealand Cricket team. I know how disappointing it will be for everyone that the game hasn’t gone ahead, but we totally support the decision that’s been made. Player safety has to be paramount.” Ardern said the NZ government had “received intelligence that the team could be attacked when it steps out to go to the stadium.”

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed called the cancellation a conspiracy: While talking to the journalists at a Presser held on Friday (17th of September) in Islamabad insinuated, sans naming anybody, Shaikh Rashid said that there was a conspiracy behind the tour-cancellation episode. Pointing towards recent development in neighboring Afghanistan, the interior minister held that the cancellation was an attempt to damage Pakistan’s efforts for peace in the region.

Shaikh Rashid further told that New Zealand team’s security in-charge spoke to government officials in the morning and informed them of a threat. When the officials asked for further details, the NZ security in-charge failed to decipher the enigma. Giving details of the  arrangements for the visiting team he told that besides SSG soldiers, 4000 policemen were also deployed to ensure hermetically sealed security.

Interior Minister went on to reveal that Pakistan had tried to convince NZ to play the match sans spectators but they disagreed: “It is their decision. We had deployed heavy security for the team. Pakistan is a peace promoter in the world. And this tour was cancelled through a conspiracy. It is their problem and what they decide.”

New Zealand cricket has stated: “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”.

Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board Ramiz Raja maintained: “Crazy day it has been! Feel so sorry for the fans and our players. Walking out of the tour by taking a unilateral approach on a security threat is very frustrating. Especially when it’s not shared!! Which world is NZ living in??NZ will hear us at ICC.”

BLACKCAPS took to the Twitter to inform: “The BLACKCAPS are abandoning their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert. Arrangements are now being made for the team’s departure.” 

PCB Stated: “Earlier today, New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series. Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams.

“We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same. The Pakistan 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 visiting team.

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

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB): According to an ECB spokesman it would decide whether to tour Pakistan or not in the next 24 to 48 hours.


Three ODIs and five T20Is were supposed to be played during the tour. First ODI was scheduled to be played here on Friday (17th of Sept) but neither team left their hotel. Aficionados were also stopped from entering the arena.

Green Shirts who were scheduled to play against Black Caps here today were: Babar Azam (captain); Shadab Khan (vice-captain); Fakhar Zaman; Haris Rauf; Hasan Ali;  Iftikhar Ahmed; Imam-ul-Haq;  Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper); Saud Shakil; Shaheen Shah Afridi; Usman Qadir and Zahid Mahmood.

Second and third ODIs were also scheduled to be played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on 19th and 21st day of  September, respectively while Gaddafi Stadium was supposed to host the T20Is from 25th day of September to 3rd day of October, 2021. | YouTube Channel

Sana Mehmood

Sana Mahmood studied Business and Finance from Karachi and writes on a number of subjects particularly activities in Bourse etc.