New Zealand’s tour of Pakistan abandoned minute before 1st ODI due to security alerts

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New Zealand’s tour of Pakistan has been cancelled because of security concerns, just minutes before the toss for the first ODI in Rawalpindi was set to take place on Friday.

The New Zealand cricket squad reportedly refused to take the pitch and instead stayed in their hotel rooms after being encouraged to do so by NZC security experts.

From September 17 to October 3, Pakistan was to host New Zealand for a series of three One-Day Internationals and five Twenty-20 Internationals at Rawalpindi and Lahore.

According to an NZC release: “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.

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“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 refused to comment on the security threat’s specifics or the altered plans for the outgoing squad.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said; “I understand this will be a blow for the PCB, who have been wonderful hosts, but player safety is paramount; and we believe this is the only responsible option.”

“We’ve been across this process throughout and are fully supportive of the decision. The players are in good hands; they’re safe — and everyone’s acting in their best interests,” he said.

England are due to play two T20s in Rawalpindi on October 13 and 14.

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