Shock And Confusion As Blackcaps Pull Out Of Bilateral Series In Pakistan

The New Zealand cricket team on Friday pulled out of their limited-overs series in Pakistan without a ball being bowled citing security concerns. The Blackcaps made the announcement ahead of the first ODI in Rawalpindi on Friday. In a statement, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said that the team will not continue with the tour following an “escalation in the New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan”. The Kiwis were scheduled to play Pakistan in a three-match ODI series followed by a five-match T20I series.

The announcement caused shock among the cricket fraternity following hours of speculation over the fate of the series. Several Pakistan players expressed their disappointment at NZC’s last-minute decision.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam also lamented New Zealand’s withdrawal. “Extremely disappointed on the abrupt postponement of the series, which could have brought the smiles back for millions of Pakistan Cricket Fans. I’ve full trust in the capabilities and credibility of our security agencies. They are our pride and always will be! Pakistan Zindabad!” he tweeted.

Here are some of the reactions from the cricket fraternity:

“Such a shame for Pakistan Cricket .. These late call offs will damage the game hugely financially .. Hopefully security issues can be resolved to allow cricket to be played again in Pakistan .. !!” tweeted former England captain Michael Vaughan.

“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,” Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle tweeted.

“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,” former India batsman Aakash Chopra  wondered on Twitter.

NZC, meanwhile, added in its statement that arrangements are being made for the Blackcaps’ departure from Pakistan.

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