PCB CEO Wasim has confirmed that the New Zealand Cricket team will fly out of Pakistan in a chartered flight. The visitors refused to leave the hotel room minutes before the start of the first ODI in Rawalpindi and called off the tour after following a security alert from their security advisors.
After calling off the white-ball series against Pakistan minutes before its start in Rawalpindi on Friday, the New Zealand team will fly out of Pakistan in a chartered flight on Saturday. The move from New Zealand Cricket (NZC) came after receiving security alert from their government.
Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan confirmed that a chartered flight will be coming on Saturday to take the New Zealand team.
"It is a very sad thing that has happened today," Khan said.
NZC CEO David White and players association chief executive Heath Mills had earlier said that it was impossible to continue the tour given the level of threats they received.
“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,” stated David White.
Heath Mills echoed White’s statement saying that they are fully supporting the decision.
“We’ve been across this process throughout and are fully supportive of the decision,” Heath Mills said. “The players are in good hands; they’re safe – and everyone’s acting in their best interests.”
NZC has not revealed the details of the security threats. Meanwhile, this development has left the Pakistan cricket community fuming and some former cricketers slammed New Zealand for the harm they have caused to Pakistan cricket.
The Pakistan government and security officials are upset after Friday's development as 4,000 policemen alongside commandos of the Pakistan Army's Special Services Group (SSG) were deployed for the matches in Rawalpindi.
The interior minister of Pakistan Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad said at a press conference that they had even tried to convince New Zealand to play the match without spectators but they didn’t agree.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, however, said in a statement that nothing was paramount than the safety of players.
"I know how disappointing it will be for everyone that the game hasn't gone ahead, but we totally support the decision that’s been made. Player safety has to be paramount," said Ardern.
Newly appointed PCB chairman Ramiz Raja also expressed his "frustration" and said that the matter would be taken to the ICC for hearing.
"Crazy day it has been! Feel so sorry for the fans and our players. Walking out of the tour by taking a unilateral approach on a security threat is very frustrating. Especially when it’s not shared!! Which world is NZ living in??NZ will hear us at ICC," he had tweeted.