The New Zealand Cricket has denied releasing any of its contracted players to play in the World XI series in Pakistan next month. Even for non-contracted players like Brendon McCullum and Luke Ronchi, NZC still needs to issue NOC to appear in the three T20s in Pakistan on September 21, 23 and 27.
Since 2009, when militants attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in Lahore, international teams have been hesitant to tour the country. It was only in 2015 that Zimbabwe toured the Asian nation for a limited-overs series, but other Test-playing nations have not shown any willingness to play a cricket series in the country, which has forced Pakistan to play their home games in the United Arab Emirates in the last few years.
The International Cricket Council showed their support to Pakistan and backed for the Pakistan vs World XI match so that International cricket can revive again in the country. Pakistan’s stunning 180-run win over arch-rivals India in the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy in June proved the players' commitment towards the game.
But now, the NZC denied releasing any of its contracted players, who are reportedly being offered more than $100,000 to play in a World XI series.
"For the contracted players it's highly likely they will be unavailable [for Pakistan] due to other international commitments, that I can't say any more about at this stage," NZC chief executive David White said as reported by Stuff.
"For the non-contracted players there's ongoing security advice from the ICC, and I know the Players' Association has sought independent security advice as well. They'll be guided by that advice and make a decision and they would have to assume the risk of going [to Pakistan].
It's reality. We can't announce it yet but there's a fairly strong possibility we'll have international commitments over that period that would preclude the players participating."
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