New Zealand abandoned Pakistan tour on Friday over security concerns from the New Zealand government.
The announcement came just five minutes before the start of the first match of the 3-match ODI series at Rawalpindi stadium.
New Zealand were scheduled to play 3 ODI and 5 T20Is in Pakistan. New Zealand was slated to play their first match on Pakistan soil since 2003.
The announcement caused shock among the cricket fraternity following hours of speculation over the fate of the series. Several Pakistan players expressed their disappointment at Kiwi’s last-minute decision.
In a first reaction to the NZC’s last-minute decision, the new PCB chief Ramiz Raja appeared on Twitter and apologized to fans. Walking out of the tour by taking a unilateral approach on a security threat is very frustrating, he tweeted.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam also lamented New Zealand’s withdrawal. He tweeted that this series could have brought back smiles on millions of cricket fans in Pakistan. He has full trust in the capabilities and credibility of security agencies in Pakistan Babar tweeted.
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar lashed out at the New Zealand cricket authorities for canceling the series unilaterally, saying that Pakistan has been embarrassed in front of the world. In a tweet, he wrote that New Zealand just killed Pakistan cricket.
Speaking to Geo News, Rawalpindi Express said New Zealand have no right to embarrass Pakistan like that and leave. He also said New Zealand arrived here after obtaining a security clearance.
Cricketer Mohammad Hafeez on Friday stated that New Zealand Cricket postponing their tour of Pakistan is sad news for the whole nation.
In a tweet, former England captain Michael Vaughan said 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, he tweeted.
This might have serious consequences on future tours to Pakistan. England-Australia and NZ (again) slated to travel to Pak in the next 12 months former India batsman Aakash Chopra wondered on Twitter.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern before Blackcaps announced to cancel their tour of Pakistan. Khan assured Ardern that Pakistan has one of the best intelligence systems in the world and that no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team but New Zealand Cricket (NZC) still decided to return home after the NZ government security alert.