New Zealand squad departs after abandoning Pakistan cricket series

Dunya News

The team has left Pakistan on a chartered flight

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Day after New Zealand pulled out of their cricket series against Pakistan over security concerns just minutes after the first one-day international was due to start, the team and support staff have left for their homeland on Saturday.

The team has left Pakistan on a chartered flight which came from the United Arab Emirates to collect the squad.

Earlier, New Zealand’s cricket squad had arrived at Islamabad airport.

On Friday, New Zealand Cricket called off their first tour of Pakistan in 18 years just as the first one-day international was due to start in Rawalpindi.

“Following an escalation in the New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan, and advice from New Zealand Cricket security advisors on the ground, it has been decided the BLACKCAPS will not continue with the tour,” New Zealand Cricket said in a statement.

Pakistan, which was deeply frustrated by the last minute withdrawal, denied any security threats.

The country now faces the risk of further tour cancellations.

England and Wales Cricket Board had also said they will decide on their next month’s tours of men’s and women’s teams by Sunday.

Cricket Australia spokesman said they were also monitoring the situation, gathering information from security experts before deciding to tour Pakistan in February and March next year.

Australia have not toured Pakistan since 1998 over security fears.