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New Zealand will hear Pakistan at ICC, states PCB chief Ramiz Raja after white-ball tour cancellation

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Ramiz Raja stated that New Zealand will hear Pakistan at ICC.

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New Zealand will hear Pakistan at ICC, states PCB chief Ramiz Raja after white-ball tour cancellation

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SportsCafe Desk

09/17/2021

After New Zealand's white-ball tour of Pakistan was called off on Friday due to security reasons, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Ramiz Raja has stated that New Zealand will hear Pakistan at ICC. Earlier, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar also expressed their disappointment regarding the incident.

Minutes before the opener of the ODI series between Pakistan and New Zealand in Rawalpindi on Friday, the entire white-ball tour was called off citing security reasons. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) in a statement also confirmed that it is making departure arrangements for the players and nothing was more important than their security.

Reacting to the decision of the New Zealand Cricket Board, PCB chairman Ramiz Raja stated that Pakistan would take the matter to the ICC. He also reckoned that it is "frustrating" when a team walks out of the series without even sharing their concern.

Earlier, former Pakistan cricketers Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi expressed their disappointment regarding the cancellation of the tour on Friday. Shoaib Akhtar tweeted that New Zealand have just "killed Pakistan cricket". Whereas, Shahid Afridi questioned the NZC as to whether the board understands the impact of their decision. He further stated that New Zealand called off the series because of a 'hoax threat".

A statement from PCB revealed that New Zealand "unilaterally decided to postpone the series" even after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan ensured the safety of the New Zealand team.

"Earlier today, the New Zealand cricket board informed us that they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series. PCB and Govt of Pakistan made fool proof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand cricket board of the same. The 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 security officials with the NZ team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Govt of Pakistan throughout their stay here. PCB is willing to continue the scheduled matches. However, cricket lovers in Pakistan and world over will be disappointed by this last minute withdrawal," PCB said in a statement.

However, the statement from NZC expressed their discomfort in continuing in Pakistan for the scheduled tour.

"The side was to play Pakistan this evening 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. Arrangements are now being made for the team's departure," NZC said in a statement. 

New Zealand were scheduled to play 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is against Pakistan in Rawalpindi and Lahore from September 17 to October 3. The Kiwis had travelled to Pakistan for the first time since 2003. 

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