POST TIME: 17 September, 2021 03:57:00 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 17 September, 2021 05:25:56 PM
Pakistan-New Zealand ODI series abandoned
Cricbuzz, Bangalore

Pakistan-New Zealand ODI series abandoned

File Photo

New Zealand's white-ball series against Pakistan was called off minutes before start of play in the opening one-dayer in Rawalpindi after New Zealand Cricket received intelligence from their government about a security threat.

"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," a board release from New Zealand stated.

New Zealand were scheduled to play three ODIs in Rawalpindi starting today before the series shifted to Lahore for a five-match T20I series but the entire tour now stands unilaterally postponed following the visitors' expression of concern.

To their part, the Pakistan Cricket Board said foolproof security arrangements had been in place for New Zealand, just like other visiting teams, and the prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, even spoke to his counterpart in New Zealand.

"The security officials with the New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan Government throughout their stay here," a PCB statement read.

"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."

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."

New Zealand Cricket Players Association chief executive Heath Mills echoed Mr White's sentiments. "We've been across this process throughout and are fully supportive of the decision," he said. "The players are in good hands; they're safe - and everyone's acting in their best interests."