New Zealand postpones Pakistan cricket tour over ‘security alert’

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New Zealand Cricket says it is abandoning the Black Caps’ first scheduled match in Pakistan in 18 years.

New Zealand has postponed its cricket tour of Pakistan over security concerns that mystified the hosts, just before the Black Caps’ first scheduled match in Pakistan in 18 years.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday said New Zealand Cricket informed it that “they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series”.

The PCB said Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and informed her, “We have one of the best intelligence systems in the world and that no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team.”

New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) security team had cleared Rawalpindi and Lahore last month for the tour of three one-day internationals – the first on Friday – and five Twenty20s.

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. 1/4

— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) September 17, 2021

“The Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same,” the PCB said.

In a statement, NZC said it was abandoning the tour “following a New Zealand government security alert”.

“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,” it said.

The NZC chief executive David White said in a statement that it was simply not possible to continue with the tour given the advice he was receiving.

“Arrangements are now being made for the team’s departure.”

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