Mitchell McClenaghan Tweets Not To Blame New Zealand Cricketers For Pakistan Tour Pullout

Mitchell McClenaghan Tweets Not To Blame New Zealand Cricketers For Pakistan Tour Pullout

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

Mitchell McClenaghan, a New Zealand pacer has told Pakistan batsman all-rounder veteran Mohammad Hafeez that the BlackCaps should not be blamed for abandoning the tour of Pakistan, rather if there is someone to blame then it is the New Zealand government.

The left-arm NZ pacer Mitchell McClenaghan, who had first joined Mumbai Indians in 2015, stayed on the bench in IPL 2020 as the team management had a number of overseas options. Hence, his release from the squad didn’t surprise many. Mitchell McClenaghan has 71 wickets in 56 matches for Mumbai Indians playing from 2015 to 2019. Mitchell McClenaghan went unsold in IPL 2021 auctions.

Mitchell McClenaghan
Mitchell McClenaghan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Mitchell McClenaghan Tweets To Mohammad Hafeez Not To Blame Cricketers For Tour Pullout

New Zealand made headlines around the world 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. New Zealand pacer Mitchell McClenaghan has replied to Mohammad Hafeez after the Pakistan cricketer took a dig at Kiwi players on social media.

“Come now bro. This has a bad taste to it… Don’t blame the players or the organisation… blame our government. They have only acted on the advice they have received. I’m absolutely certain these young men – all wanting to prove themselves wanted to play. they had no choice,” tweeted Mitchell McClenaghan.

Mohammad Hafeez Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Mohammad Hafeez Image courtesy of ESPNcricinfo

On Saturday, veteran Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez had taken a dig at New Zealand Cricket (NZC) for postponing their tour of Pakistan citing security threats.

“Thanks to the security of Pakistan forces to make arrangements to @BLACKCAPS to reach at airport Safe & Sound. Wonder same route & same security but no threat today???” tweeted Mohammad Hafeez.

The Blackcaps abandoned their tour of Pakistan which came after an 18-year-old hiatus following a New Zealand government security alert, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) informed on Friday. New Zealand was slated to play their first match on Pakistan soil since 2003. The side was to play the hosts on Friday in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi, before moving to Lahore for a five-match T20 series.

Imran Khan And Jacinda Ardern Had A Teleconference Before New Zealand Decided To Abandon The Pakistan Tour

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had also spoken to his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern before the Blackcaps announced they are abandoning their tour of Pakistan immediately.

Imran Khan assured Jacinda Ardern that Pakistan has one of the best intelligence systems in the world and that no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team but instead NZC decided to return home after their government received a security alert. New Zealand Cricket Players Association chief executive Heath Mills echoed NZC chief executive David White’s sentiments.

“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.

Pakistan and New Zealand Prime Ministers Imran Khan and Jacinda Ardern. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Pakistan and New Zealand Prime Ministers Imran Khan and Jacinda Ardern. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

The New Zealand 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 players and support staff will return to their country New Zealand over the next week or so, as flights and MIQ rooms in New Zealand become available.

The toss for the 1st ODI between the two teams was delayed as both teams were advised to stay in their hotel rooms before news of abandonment. A global intelligence alliance issued the security alert which led to the cancellation of the Black Caps’ cricket tour to Pakistan as per a published report. The publication said citing overseas media that the intelligence came from “Five Eyes”, an intelligence alliance of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the US, and the UK.

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.

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