Just an hour before the first ODI between Pakistan and New Zealand in Rawalpindi on Friday, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) decided to abandon the tour after receiving a security alert from their government.
NZC stated that the safety of the players was paramount, but some former and current Pakistan cricketer believes that this decision could influence the visit of international teams to their nation in the future.
Reacting to the same, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who is currently in the UAE for the remaining season of IPL 2021, hopes the cancellation of the Pakistan tour by the Blackcaps doesn’t have a lasting impact on the hosts.
“They were obviously over there, ready to go to the ground. It is a sudden thing that happened. I certainly hope there is no lasting impact from it because it is a special place for cricket to be and there have been a lot of strides forward to see cricket go back into Pakistan and play there safely. We have seen that happen on a number of occasions, so hopefully, there is plenty more cricket there to come,” Williamson was quoted as saying by the Sportstar.
Williamson further clarified that the decision to pull out was not of players’ alone and was taken after consulting with the government.
“You want to be playing the game in all countries. It is an international game and there is so much passion for it around the world, particularly in Pakistan. It was really exciting to see the series go back there and I know our team was looking forward to it. Players’ safety is paramount and when you hear messages going through from the government, it is certainly above the players’ heads,” Williamson added.
“I don’t know the details [of pullout]. It was a sudden call, but obviously, a real shame. Cricket in Pakistan is an amazing thing and so well supported. There is so much passion there and I think the guys will be gutted to not have started and playing the whole series. But I am not sure of the details since I am in Dubai for the IPL. I will find out a bit more about it over the next few days.”