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NZC team can't stay in Pakistan after 'specific, credible threat': David White

اپ ڈیٹ 19 ستمبر 2021
Everything changed on Friday. The advice changed, the threat level changed, said NZC Chief Executive David White. David White Twitter
Everything changed on Friday. The advice changed, the threat level changed, said NZC Chief Executive David White. David White Twitter

Briefing on a unilateral last moment decision of the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) team to abandon their Pakistan tour, the board's Chief Executive David White said on Sunday the team could not stay in Pakistan after receiving an advice from the government of a "specific, credible threat".

The chief said in a statement the New Zealand team remained comfortable with its initial decision to tour Pakistan, based on comprehensive assessments of the security situation, and the risk mitigation measures promised.

However, he said: “Everything changed on Friday. The advice changed, the threat level changed and, as a consequence, we took the only responsible course of action possible.”

The official statement said the advice was supported by the NZC team security consultants – who were on the ground in Pakistan, and by other independent sources.

It further said the "general tenor of the threat was immediately shared" with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), however, White noted that specific details could not, and will not, be disclosed – privately or publicly.

“What I can say is that we were advised this was a specific and credible threat against the team," said White in the statement.

New Zealand had been visiting Pakistan for the first time in 18 years and also had been due to play five Twenty20 matches in Lahore.

NZ cricket team reaches Dubai

The NZ players left Islamabad by a chartered flight on Saturday and reached Dubai where the 34-strong contingent are undergoing 24-hour period of self-isolation, the NZC said in a statement and tweet.

Twenty four of them will return home next week, while the rest would join New Zealand's Twenty20 World Cup squad for the showpiece tournament scheduled in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from Oct 17.

'Show your frustration in performance'

To boost up the morale of the the Pakistan cricket team, PCB newly-elected Chairperson Ramiz Raja in a video message said: "Show your frustration and anger in performance as this is the only way to show your strength to the world."

He termed the abrupt cancellation of the series an "unfortunate and unexpected" scenario, saying "we share same grief". However, he advised the players to keep their strength high and don't get discouraged.

"We have experienced harsh moments in the past but we always move on due to the support of cricket fans and resilience of the team," he said.

In another message on Twitter, Raja said the New Zealand "will hear us at the ICC [International Cricket Council]."