Martin Guptill feels that the cancellation of New Zealand's white-ball series in Pakistan was disappointing for everyone involved. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) had decided to abandon the entire tour just before the start of the first ODI in Rawalpindi last month, citing security concerns.
New Zealand had arrived in Pakistan last month for the first time since 2003 and were scheduled to play a three-match ODI series in Rawalpindi followed by five-match T20I series in Lahore. However, the NZC withdrew from the series, citing security threats to the New Zealand cricket team. Despite the Pakistan Prime Minister ImranKhan providing assurance, New Zealand decided to stay with thier decision, and the players left the country the day after.
Reflecting on New Zealand’s pullout from the Pakistan tour, Martin Guptill stated that it was disappointing for everyone involved. The New Zealand opener is hopeful that international cricket will return to Pakistan very soon.
"I guess it was disappointing for everyone involved," Guptill said during a virtual media interaction. "We were all looking forward to playing some cricket and getting a bit of game-time before the World Cup and that wasn't to be. I know Pakistan are really looking forward to having some cricket back in their home country. We're all hoping that there's going to be cricket there again soon."
Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan's federal minister for information and broadcasting, revealed that ahead of the tour, Guptill's wife, Laura McGoldrick, received a life threatening email regarding Guptill. The pre-tour threat sent to Laura was separate from the security threat that prompted New Zealand to abandon the Pakistan tour. Guptill, who returned to the national side after being rested for the Bangladesh tour, stated that the mail was sent to the designated authorities to take the required action.
"It never is [good when the family receives threats]," Guptill said. "We sent it to the right people to sort of deal with it. Obviously, nothing came of it. It is what it is, and we just had to go through the right channels to get it dealt with properly. Laura [McGoldrick] never actually told me what the email said, so I had no idea what was going on. As I said, we sent it to the proper authorities to get it sorted."
Meanwhile, Laura revealed that Guptill was really excited to be in Pakistan, but the rising concern regarding security made the NZC abandon the tour. She further added that it was a very difficult time for the cricketers and the uncertainty in Pakistan left the players' families worried back home in New Zealand.
"He [Guptill] was really excited to be in Pakistan," Laura Mike Hesson and Ian Smith on Sky Sport NZ. "He felt very safe and they took good care of them, but New Zealand Cricket did the only thing that they could do - that is to get them out of there and it was a very scary time for the families back here as we were waiting and wondering what was going on. It was really sad - sad for all cricket fans, particularly those in Pakistan, and I can't imagine how long it's going to take to get back to a point where international teams now tour there."
New Zealand will begin their T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 26 in Sharjah. Speaking on Blackcaps' first match of the ICC mega event, Guptill stated that Pakistan are a tough opponent, and that his side needs to play quality cricket to defeat the Babar Azam-led side.
"I think [it's] like any game against Pakistan, they're a tough opponent and in these conditions, it's going to be pretty tough again," he said. "We're going to have to be on our A-game and bring it to them and not take a backward step, just like every other game that we play. It's going to be a tough game, I'm not going to lie, but we're going to prepare well and look forward to that game."