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New Zealand cricket team abandons tour of Pakistan after security threat

New Zealand

Karachi, September 17: The New Zealand cricket team has decided to abandon their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand Government security alert, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) informed on Friday (September 17).

New Zealand were schedule to play Pakistan on Friday (September 17) in the first of the three ODIs in Rawalpindi, before moving to Lahore for a five-match T20 series.

New Zealand were slated to play their first match on Pakistan soil since 2003.
"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," NZC said in a statement.

The NZC chief executive David White said it was simply not possible to continue with the tour given the advice he was receiving.

"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," he said.

NZC said arrangements are now being made for the team's departure from Pakistan. New Zealand Cricket Players Association chief executive Heath Mills echoed White's sentiments.

"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 said.

NZC said it will not comment on the details of the security threat nor the updated arrangements for the departing squad.

On Thursday (September 16), Pakistan skipper Babar Azam had commended New Zealand for their decision to tour that nation after a gap of nearly two decades.

Since then cricket and the playing conditions have undergone vast changes and the New Zealand were among the only a handful of nations who were willing to tour Pakistan amidst the geo-political tension in that South Asian nation.

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Story first published: Friday, September 17, 2021, 15:27 [IST]
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