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New Zealand abandons cricket series in Pakistan citing security concerns even after Imran Khan told their PM they have the ‘best intelligence system’

The Pakistan Cricket Board informed that Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan had personally spoken to his New Zealand counterpart and assured her that they have the best intelligence system. But the team decided to cancel despite that.

An hour before the start of the 1st ODI match with Pakistan at Rawalpindi, the New Zealand cricket team decided to ‘abandon’ their tour of Pakistan over security concerns. The development came following a security alert from the Government of New Zealand.

The ‘B’ team of New Zealand was scheduled to play a 3-match ODI series against Pakistan in Rawalpindi, followed by a 5-match T20 series against them in Lahore. “However, 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,” read a statement posted on the website of New Zealand Cricket Board. 

Health Mills, Chief Executive of New Zealand Cricket Players Association remarked, “We’ve been across this process throughout and are fully supportive of the decision. The players are in good hands; they’re safe – and everyone’s acting in their best interests.” ESPN Cricinfo reported that players of both teams did not leave their hotel since morning and spectators were also barred from entering the stadium.

Despite Pakistan’s claims of ‘fullproof security,’ the New Zealand team decided against taking any chances. It was the latter’s first visit to Pakistan after a period of 18 long years. Although there was an initial period of uncertainty, the statement by the New Zealand cricket Board made it clear that the team will soon be departing for their homes. It comes as a major embarrassment for the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Imran Khan government, who have been trying to improve the global image of its country.

Pakistan Cricket Board says Imran Khan told New Zealand they have ‘best intelligence system’

The Pakistan Cricket Board informed that Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan had personally spoken to his New Zealand counterpart and assured her that they have the best intelligence system. But the team decided to cancel despite that.

PCB said in a statement on social media, “The Prime Minister spoke personally to the Prime Minister of New Zealand and informed her that we have one of the best Intelligence systems in the world and that no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team.”

Pakistan cricket board statement on New Zealand team withdrawal

“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,” it added.

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