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'Such a shame for Pakistan', says Michael Vaughan as New Zealand call off white-ball tour over security concerns

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New Zealand called off their Pakistan's white-ball tour on Friday

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'Such a shame for Pakistan', says Michael Vaughan as New Zealand call off white-ball tour over security concerns

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SportsCafe Desk

09/18/2021

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has said that New Zealand calling off the white-ball series minutes before its start in Rawalpindi, was a 'shame for Pakistan'. Notably, on advice of team's security advisors, New Zealand players did not arrive at the stadium for the first ODI on Friday

Adding salt to Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) wound, former England captain Michael Vaughan has said that New Zealand's decision to back out from white-ball series moments before its start was a "shame for Pakistan". 

The tweet from Vaugan came amid reports that England might also decide against travelling to New Zealand for a T20I series ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE and Oman. 

"Such a shame for Pakistan Cricket .. These late call offs will damage the game hugely financially .. Hopefully security issues can be resolved to allow cricket to be played again in Pakistan .. !!" wrote former England captain Michael Vaughan on his twitter handle.

A statement from PCB on Friday 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.

New Zeland in their statement had talked about "an escalation in the New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan". 

"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. 

A chartered flight will be coming on Saturday to fly out the New Zealand players out of Pakistan on Saturday. 

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