New Zealand have abandoned their tour of Pakistan because of a “government security alert”. The Blackcaps were supposed to play Pakistan in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi on Friday evening before moving to Lahore for a five-match T20I series in Lahore.
However, in its statement, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed that they would “no longer participate in the tour” based on the advice they have been receiving from their government.
The statement read: “The BLACKCAPS are abandoning their Tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert.
“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.”
NZC’s decision to pull out of the tour has come when international cricket is gradually returning to Pakistan after being away for a decade because of the infamous attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore during the 2009 tour.
Here’s how the cricketing world reacted to the news:
On a HOAX threat you have called-off the tour despite all assurances!! @BLACKCAPS do you understand the IMPACT of your decision?
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) September 17, 2021
NZ just killed Pakistan cricket 😡😡
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) September 17, 2021
Pakistan 🇵🇰 intelligence agencies & Pakistan armed forces r Pride of every Pakistani. This unilateral decision of @BLACKCAPS is not acceptable. Pakistan 🇵🇰 is safe & Proud county.
— Mohammad Hafeez (@MHafeez22) September 17, 2021
Disappointed waking up to the news of the cancellation of the Pakistan Vs New Zealand series because of security issues.Over the last 6 years playing and visiting Pakistan has been one of the most enjoyable experiences. I’ve always felt safe. this is a massive blow to Pakistan ☹️
— Daren Sammy (@darensammy88) September 17, 2021
Heartbroken to see the last-minute withdrawal of the #PAKvNZ series that we all waited for over the past 18 years and was so excited. Pakistan has made lots of efforts to get cricket back home and we'll keep doing that iA #PakistanZindabad 🇵🇰
— Imad Wasim (@simadwasim) September 17, 2021
Huge news this, about New Zealand pulling out of their tour of Pakistan and heading back home. Feel for cricket lovers in Pakistan but since this is because of a perceived security threat, it will impact other teams touring there too
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 17, 2021
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.
— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) September 17, 2021
Quite disappointed by the scale of events happening in the world of cricket. Devastated for the fans, players and all stakeholders working towards bringing the game back to Pakistan. It’s imperative we continue to work towards the momentum of having cricket in Pakistan 🇵🇰
— Azhar Mahmood (@AzharMahmood11) September 17, 2021
NZ has canceled their tour to Pakistan hours before the start of the first match…citing security concerns. This might have serious consequences on the future tours to Pakistan. England-Australia and NZ (again) slated to travel to Pak in the next 12 months. #PakvNZ
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) September 17, 2021
Quite disappointing the way it’s all ended before it even began. Not the best of days for Pak cricket. #NZvPAK
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) September 17, 2021
— Azhar Ali (@AzharAli_) September 17, 2021
Pakistan has made monumental efforts to get international cricket back on track. We’ve lost a lot with no international cricket for 6 years in the past and today might set us back again. The pulling out and the abrupt timing of the decision is extremely disappointing. #PAKvNZ
— Shan Masood (@shani_official) September 17, 2021
The security situation in Pakistan is great and satisfactory. Extraordinary security has been provided to the New Zealand team. After complete assurance and satisfaction, Call for this last minute withdrawal and postponement of the series by NZ is beyond understanding.
— Faisal Javed Khan (@FaisalJavedKhan) September 17, 2021
— Anwar Ali Khan (@realanwarali48) September 17, 2021
Why did you even come if you had to create the all this drama? Couldn’t you announce this a few days ago, even yesterday? #PakvNZ
— Ihtisham Ul Haq (@iihtishamm) September 17, 2021