New Zealand’s tour of Pakistan was abandoned due to security concerns, sparking doubts over whether England’s upcoming trip will go ahead
New Zealand were due to play a three-match ODI series in Rawalpindi and a five-match T20I series in Lahore.
However, the tour was abandoned the same day it was set to start, with New Zealand citing “an escalation in the New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan”.
In their statement, New Zealand Cricket mentioned that after receiving “advice from NZC security advisors on the ground”, the decision was made to cancel the tour and return home.
AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)
Reg Dickason, managing director at ESI Risk, is the security consultant that works with NZC and he has been working closely with the ECB for a number of years.
His involvement in New Zealand’s decision to pull out of tour throws further doubt on the likelihood of England’s trip going ahead.
The men’s side are due to play two T20Is ahead of the T20 World Cup, while the women’s team are scheduled to play two T20Is and three ODIs.
A statement from NZC read: “The BLACKCAPS are abandoning their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert.
“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.”
Stu Forster/Getty Images for ECB)
The Pakistan Cricket Board, however, claimed that they had made “foolproof security arrangements” and that “no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team”.
In a statement, they said: “Earlier today, New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series.
“Pakistan Cricket Board and the Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured New Zealand Cricket of the same.
“The Pakistan 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 New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan Government throughout their stay here.
“PCB is willing to continue the scheduled matches. However, cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world will be disappointed by this last-minute withdrawal.”