New Zealand pacer Mitchell McClenaghan reacted strongly after senior Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Hafeez lashed out at Kiwi players for cancelling the limited-overs tour in the wake of security threats.
The 33-member New Zealand contingent left for Dubai on a chartered flight from Islamabad last night. However, Hafeez took a dig at the Black Caps players for calling off the entire tour over security fears.
The 40-year-old shared a photograph of New Zealand players in the airport and said it was surprising to see that the tourists could trust the same security forces on whom they had no belief a few days ago.
“Thanks to the security of Pakistan forces to make arrangements to @BLACKCAPS to reach at airport Safe & Sound. Wonder same route & same security but no threat today???,” Hafeez tweeted.
— Mohammad Hafeez (@MHafeez22) September 18, 2021
But Hafeez’s tweet didn’t go down well with Kiwi speedster McClenaghan, who reckoned that the cricket team and staff of New Zealand should not be blamed for cancelling the tour to Pakistan. However, after some time, McClenaghan deleted his tweet.
“Come now, bro. This has a bad taste to it… Don’t blame the players or the organisation… blame our government. They have only acted on the advice they have received. I’m absolutely certain these young men – all wanting to prove themselves wanted to play. they had no choice,” McClenaghan had written on his tweet (now deleted).
Meanwhile, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive David White said that they had no choice but to ensure the safety of the players and staff members as ‘everything changed’ in an instant on Friday, the day of the ODI series opener.
“We were advised this was a specific and credible threat against the team. We had several conversations with New Zealand government officials before making the decision. After informing the PCB of our position, we understand a telephone discussion was conducted between the respective Prime Ministers. Unfortunately, given the advice we’d received, there was no way we could stay in the country,” said White in a statement.
“Everything changed on Friday. The advice changed, the threat level changed, and, as a consequence, we took the only responsible course of action possible,” he added.