New Zealand cricket team to visit Pakistan next year: Sources

LAHORE (Dunya News) – The sources said that the New Zealand Cricket Board has confirmed visit to Pakistan in next year on the month of September.

As per sources, the board of New Zealand cricket team, who abandon tour of Pakistan on time before first ODI citing security threat, has contacted the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and confirmed cricket team’s tour to Pakistan in next year.

Regarding the tour of Pakistan, the sources also said that the New Zealand cricket team will visit Pakistan in September next year and will play ODI and T20 series.

The sources further said that the New Zealand cricket team had abruptly postponed the series this year while the New Zealand Cricket Board had called for the series at Neutral Venue but the PCB remained steadfast for the home series.

Earlier, New Zealand called off a series of one day internationals against Pakistan over security concerns, New Zealand s cricket body and local board officials said, minutes after the first match was due to start.

"New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series," the Pakistan Cricket board said in a statement.

"Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same," the PCB statement reads.

"The Pakistan 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," the statement added.

"The security officials with the New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan Government throughout their stay here," the PCB statement reads.

PCB said it was willing to continue the scheduled matches. However, cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world will be disappointed by this last minute withdrawal.

On the other hand, New Zealand cricket board announced in its press release that "The BLACKCAPS are abandoning their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert."

The side was to play Pakistan today in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi, before moving to Lahore for a five match T20 series.

"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," the statement reads.

"Arrangements are now being made for the team’s departure," it added.

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.”

New Zealand Cricket Players Association chief executive Heath Mills echoed Mr White’s sentiments.

“We’ve been across this process throughout and are fully supportive of the decision,” he said.

“The players are in good hands; they’re safe – and everyone’s acting in their best interests.”

NZC did not comment on the details of the security threat nor the updated arrangements for the departing squad.