In a recent development, the New Zealand Cricket team have announced that they are abandoning their scheduled tour of Pakistan in October due to security concerns.
A senior official from the NZC said in a statement, “Due to heightened political tensions in the region and a difficult cricketing environment, we must find an alternative venue for our tour.”
The cancellation of this tour is a blow to Pakistan cricket which is already plagued by issues such as shrinking crowds and lack of sponsors. In this regard, NZC chief executive David White said, “We do not want to place any player into an environment where they may be harmed”.
In October, Pakistan and New Zealand were supposed to play two Tests, five ODIs and a one-off T20 match. The tour was likely to be Pakistan’s first series at home since the terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in 2009.
This is the second instance where a cricketing nation has reneged from touring Pakistan in the past couple of years. In March 2014, Australia postponed their tour, which was to take place later that year due to security concerns.
Recently, there has been an upsurge in tensions between India and Pakistan, mainly due to recent events involving Kashmir. It is believed that New Zealand cancelled the tour as a result of this.
The New Zealand board has made it clear that they are open to playing cricket in Pakistan in the future if the situation improves. However, recent events suggest otherwise. In 2009, former ICC president Ehsan Mani cautioned that if this pattern of countries refusing to tour Pakistan continues, the future of international cricket is in jeopardy.
The Pakistan Prime Minister spoke to the New Zealand Prime Minister and said that they have a good intelligence system. And there is no threat for the visiting team.
The New Zealand team’s security officials said that they liked the security in their hosts’ country.
PCB is willing to continue playing games.
People from around the world will be disappointed that Pakistan is not going to play cricket anymore. They were supposed to start playing on Friday at their stadium, but they weren’t able to because of a problem with the first match.