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Kiwis to fly out of Pakistan in chartered flight on Saturday

Source: PTI
September 17, 2021 23:33 IST
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New Zealand refused to travel to the stadium in Rawalpindi, where they were due to play the first One-day international against Pakistan on Friday, citing security concerns

IMAGE: The New Zealand team refused to travel to the stadium in Rawalpindi, where they were due to play the first One-day international against Pakistan on Friday, citing security concerns. Photograph: Blackcaps/Twitter

New Zealand’s cricket team will fly out of Pakistan in a chartered flight on Saturday, even as the cricket community is fuming over the sudden and unilateral decision of the visitors to abandon the tour due to a security threat.

 

Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan confirmed that a chartered flight will be arriving on Saturday to take the New Zealand team home.

"It is a very sad thing that has happened today," Khan said.

The cricketing world and Pakistanis were left shocked on Friday after just minutes before the start of the first One-Day International between the two teams at the Pindi stadium, New Zealand Cricket CEO David White announced that they were calling the team back after receiving advice of a serious security threat.

But PCB Chairman, Ramiz Raja and Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed both said that the New Zealand board had not shared the security threat report with them.

Not surprisingly, Pakistan's cricket community was fuming and some former stalwarts waded into New Zealand for causing untold harm to Pakistan cricket.

The Pakistan government and security officials are understandably upset at Friday's development as besides 4000 policemen, commandos of the Pakistan Army's Special Services Group (SSG) were also deployed for the matches in Rawalpindi.

The interior minister said at a press conference that they had even tried to convince New Zealand to play the match without spectators.

"But they did not agree to it," he disclosed.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, however, said in a statement that nothing was paramount than the safety of players.

She said she could understand the disappointment in Pakistan but the security threat was such that it could not be ignored.

England men's and women's teams are now due to tour Pakistan in October.

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New Zealand Tour of India, 2021