Pakistan vs New Zealand: 'We were willing to continue, NZC unilaterally decided to postpone series,' says PCB
- In a four tweet thread on Twitter, PCB said assurances were given to the New Zealand government that there was no threat to the security of their players if the ODI and T20I went ahead as per schedule.
Minutes after New Zealand Cricket (NZC) announced that they have decided to ‘abandon' the limited-overs series in Pakistan due to security concerns, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in an official statement, said it was a ‘unilateral’ decision. In a four tweet thread on Twitter, PCB said assurances were given to the New Zealand government that there was no threat to the security of their players if the ODI and T20I went ahead.
"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 and Govt of Pakistan made ful proof security arrangements for all visiting teams,” PCB said in a statement.
Pakistan's parent body for cricket also added that the country's Prime Minister Imran Khan too had a discussion with the New Zealand PM to assure them of security arrangements.
"We have assured the NZ 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 visiting 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 said.
PCB said they were willing to play matches as per schedule but the last minute withdrawal will disappoint the fans in Pakistan.
“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,” the statement further read.
New Zealand were visiting Pakistan for the first time in 18 years and were due to play three one-day internationals and five Twenty20 matches in Rawalpindi and Lahore.
Hours before the PCB announcement, New Zealand refused to travel to the stadium in Rawalpindi where they were due to play the first one-day international against Pakistan, citing security concerns.
New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White eventually issued a statement to say that it was simply not possible to continue with the tour given the advice he was receiving from his government.
"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 stated.
New Zealand's cricket board said arrangements were being made for the team's departure back home, citing an escalation in threat levels and the advice of security advisors.
(With agency inputs)