David White Grateful To PCB For Organizing Safe Departure Of New Zealand Team
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David White Grateful To PCB For Organizing Safe Departure Of New Zealand Team

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). (Photo: Twitter)
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). (Photo: Twitter)

David White, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive on Sunday said that he is grateful to the Pakistan Cricket Board for helping organize the safe departure of the New Zealand team. Later on Sunday, NZC chief executive David White said they were faced with no option but to abandon the tour after receiving advice from their government of a specific and credible threat.

New Zealand cricket chief David White clarified that they had no choice but to call off the tour of Pakistan after being alerted by their security officials just minutes before the first ODI in Rawalpindi on Friday. The entire limited-overs series was called off due to security concerns. Arrangements will now have to be made for the safe return of the New Zealand cricket team, which visited Pakistan for the first time in 18 years for an international series.

New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White during a press conference. Photo: File
New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White during a press conference. Photo: File

David White Credits Wasim Khan For Professionalism

New Zealand made headlines across the cricket fraternity when the cricket team called off its bilateral ODI and T20 series minutes before the toss for the first ODI between the two sides was scheduled to take place in Rawalpindi. The Black Caps had arrived in Pakistan after 18 years to play a cricket series. Pakistan was scheduled to host New Zealand for a series of 3 ODIs and 5 T20 internationals in Rawalpindi and Lahore from September 17 to October 3.

“We appreciate this has been a terribly difficult time for the PCB and wish to pass on our sincere thanks to chief executive Wasim Khan and his team for their professionalism and care,” said White in an official statement.

Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)

David White also said NZC and the BlackCaps had been very much looking forward to the Pakistan series but were faced with no option but to abandon the tour after receiving, on Friday, advice from the New Zealand government of a specific, credible threat. This advice was supported by NZC’s security consultants – who were on the ground in Pakistan, and by other independent sources.

“What I can say is that we were advised this was a specific and credible threat against the team. We had several conversations with New Zealand government officials before making the decision and it was after informing the PCB of our position that we understand a telephone discussion was conducted between the respective Prime Ministers,” said White.

“Unfortunately, given the advice we’d received, there was no way we could stay in the country,” he added.

New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White admitted the fact that the board was initially satisfied with security arrangements in Pakistan for which they sent their team to the country.  PCB CEO Wasim Khan has confirmed that the New Zealand Cricket team will fly out of Pakistan in a chartered flight.

The visitors refused to leave the hotel room minutes before the start of the first ODI in Rawalpindi and NZC called off the tour after following a security alert from their security advisors. The New Zealand men’s cricket team on Sunday arrived in Dubai after leaving Islamabad on a charter flight.

David White: New Zealand Too The Only Responsible Course Of Action Possible

David White said NZC remained comfortable with its initial decision to tour Pakistan, based on comprehensive assessments of the security situation, and the risk mitigation measures promised. New Zealand was scheduled to play three ODIs in Rawalpindi starting Friday (September 17) before the series shifted to Lahore for a five-match T20I series, but the entire tour now stands unilaterally postponed following the visitors’ expression of concern.

“Everything changed on Friday. The advice changed, the threat level changed and, as a consequence, we took the only responsible course of action possible,” he said.

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021
Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021. Image Credits: Twitter

The New Zealand men’s cricket team on Sunday arrived in Dubai after leaving Islamabad on a charter flight. The contingent of 34 players and support staff are now settling into their Dubai hotel and undergoing their 24-hour period of self-isolation. Of this group, 24 will return to New Zealand over the next week or so, as flights and MIQ rooms in New Zealand become available.

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