Rawalpindi [Pakistan] : The Blackcaps are abandoning their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) informed on Friday.
The side was to play Pakistan on Friday in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi, before moving to Lahore for a five-match T20 series. New Zealand was slated to play their first match on Pakistan soil since 2003.
“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,” NZC said in a statement.
NZC chief executive David White said it was simply not possible to continue with the tour given the advice he was receiving.
“I understand this will be a blow for the PCB, who have been wonderful hosts, but player safety is paramount and we believe this is the only responsible option,” he said.
NZC said arrangements are now being made for the team’s departure. New Zealand Cricket Players Association chief executive Heath Mills echoed White’s sentiments.
“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,” he said.
NZC said it will not comment on the details of the security threat nor the updated arrangements for the departing squad.