‘Will do everything in power to prevent cricket being taken away from Pakistan’: Wasim Akram after New Zealand pull out
- Akram took to Twitter to state that cricket means a lot to the people of Pakistan and they would anything in their power to prevent it being taken away from them.
Legendary Pakistan cricketer Wasim Akram said the world needs to give his country a chance to show that they can host cricket matches without any security concerns. Akram's comments came in the wake of New Zealand's last-minute pull out from the limited-overs tour to Pakistan citing security concerns.
Akram took to Twitter to state that cricket means a lot to the people of Pakistan and they would do anything in their power to prevent it being taken away from them.
“I think the world underestimates how powerful our security forces are. Cricket is more than a sport to us and we will do everything in our power to prevent cricket being taken from us again. The world needs to give us a chance to prove that!” Akram tweeted on Sunday.
New Zealand had decided to abandon the Pakistan tour comprising three ODIs and five T20Is hours before the first ODI at Rawalpindi on Friday (September 17). New Zealand Cricket said they were advised by their government not to leave their hotel rooms due to security reasons.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) however, termed NZC's decision to call off the series ‘unilateral.'
Akram had earlier termed Pakistan as ‘one of the safest places in the world to play cricket.’
“Extremely disappointed in NZ choice to abandon the #PAKvNZ tour. Pakistan has proven that our security measures for international games is of the highest order, making Pakistan one of the safest places in the world to play cricket today. I feel we are not hearing the whole story,” he had tweeted on Friday.
The touring New Zealand squad, meanwhile, landed in Dubai early on Sunday after taking off from Islamabad on a charter flight. The cricketers are the support staff are to remain in isolation for a day before 24 of them fly back home while the other 10 wait for the rest of the squad members for the T20 World Cup to join them in UAE.
"What I can say is that we were advised this was a specific and credible threat against the team," NZC chief executive David White said.
"Everything changed on Friday. The advice changed, the threat level changed and, as a consequence, we took the only responsible course of action possible."
New Zealand had been visiting Pakistan for the first time in 18 years and also had been due to play five Twenty20 matches in Lahore.
Top teams have largely shunned Pakistan following an attack by Islamist militants on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009 that killed six policemen and two civilians