Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021 | Sportzwiki

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison Getty Images
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison Getty Images
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Tom Harrison Flies To Pakistan To Mend Relations With PCB After October 2021 Tour Cancellation Hurt PCB

Tom Harrison, England and Wales Cricket Board Chief Executive, has flown to Pakistan to meet PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja in a bid to mend relations that were damaged by the cancellation of last month’s tour.

According to sources in the PCB, besides meeting Ramiz Raja, Tom Harrison is also due to call Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad before he flies out to Dubai for the final of the T20 World Cup and the ICC Executive Board meeting on November 17.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison. (Credits: Twitter)
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison. (Credits: Twitter)

Tom Harrison’s Decision To Go To Pakistan Came After It Was Announced Australia And West Indies Would Tour Pakistan In 2022

After New Zealand decided to abandon its tour of Pakistan right ahead of the first ODI, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had announced that its men’s and women’s tour of Pakistan would not go ahead as planned.

The England men’s team was set to tour Pakistan in October for the first time since 2005, while their women have never played in that country. However, ECB had cancelled both the series, citing the “mental and physical well-being” of players and security concerns, a decision that was met with heavy criticism.

Australia
Australia. Image Credits: Twitter

Tom Harrison’s decision to come to Pakistan comes on the heels of the announcement by Cricket Australia that it will be touring Pakistan early next year. Australia’s confirmation to send its team to Pakistan had come days after the West Indies board announced it would be touring Pakistan in December for a white ball series.

Australia’s men’s team is set for a three-format tour of Pakistan in March-April 2022, playing in the nation for the first time since 1998. The Pakistan Cricket Board announced details for the seven-match tour on Monday.

The campaign will comprise three ICC World Test Championship matches through march, three ICC Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs (29 March to 2 April), and one T20I (5 April). Australia’s last tour of Pakistan was in 1998-99, which in turn was their first series in Pakistan since 1959-60.

Ramiz Raja Would Be Taking Up The Case Against New Zealand Cricket And ECB At ICC Board Meeting

The confirmation by the two boards has come as welcome news for the PCB, which was shattered by the decision by New Zealand Cricket to pull out its team from the tour of Pakistan in September because of security threats and later the ECB’s decision also not to send its teams for white-ball matches.

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

But one PCB source made it clear that while Tom Harrison’s visit was welcome, and so was his assurance that England would make a full tour of Pakistan late next year, Ramiz Raja would be taking up the case against New Zealand Cricket and ECB strongly at the ICC board meeting.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
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Pakistan Have No Preferences Regarding Semi-Final Opponents, Says Mohammed Hafeez

Mohammad Hafeez, the veteran Pakistan all-rounder, says such is Pakistan’s form at the Twenty20 World Cup. They are brimming with confidence and have no preferences as to who they play in the semi-finals.

Pakistan has been unstoppable since their historic 10-wicket win over bitter rivals India at the beginning of the campaign. The 2009 champions have gone on to beat a strong New Zealand side, Afghanistan and Namibia.

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

Mohammad Hafeez: Pakistan Ready Irrespective Of Opponent At Semi-Finals In T20I World Cup

Pakistan will face the runners-up of Group 1, likely to be either Australia or South Africa, who play their last group matches later on Saturday. However, Mohammad Hafeez — a former captain of the Twenty20 side — said Pakistan was ready for any opponent.

If Pakistan remains undefeated and beats Scotland, they will face Australia in Dubai. On the other hand, if New Zealand beat Afghanistan and Pakistan lose against Scotland, the Black Caps will top the points table, and the Men In Green will rank second. In this situation, Pakistan will play against England in Abu Dhabi.

Regardless of the result of Pakistan’s match against Scotland, if Afghanistan beats New Zealand and India beats Namibia comprehensively, Pakistan will be table toppers and play against Australia.

“To be honest, when it comes to a cricket match we don’t think about who we want to play,” said 41-year-old Hafeez on Saturday on the eve of their match with Scotland.

“Whoever comes we are ready for that as our confidence is high, we are shaping up well and we are performing well. But first we have a game against Scotland so we need to take them on with the same intensity and confidence. The goal is to win the Cup for the nation and we are close to that.”

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

Pakistan has won all its three T20Is against Scotland, once in the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007 and two in Scotland in 2018. Mohammad Hafeez said there was extra satisfaction over their strong performances, considering the tricky lead-up they had to the tournament. Pakistan’s win over Namibia has now confirmed their final-four spot, leaving only Scotland in their path to a 100% group-stage win rate.

“We played only one match out of five in the West Indies due to the weather,” he said.

“Then New Zealand and England abandoned their tours so we were short on that front but the whole team and the management have done well in this tournament.”

New Zealand abandoned their tour due to a security alert, minutes before the start of the first ODI in Rawalpindi in September, and then England withdrew from two T20Is in October, citing players’ mental and physical health problems. As a result, the seven home T20Is (against England and New Zealand) in Lahore and Rawalpindi was to be played from 25 September to 14 October in Pakistan, which eventually didn’t happen.

Mohammad Hafeez: Win Against India Gave Pakistan Confidence

Mohammad Hafeez singled out the first match against India as the confidence booster — Pakistan’s first win over them in 13 World Cup matches.  After losing the toss, Virat Kohli-led India was asked to bat first on a tricky batting surface by Pakistan captain Babar Azam. To make matters worse, Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi dismissed Rohit Sharma for a golden duck, and soon after, sent back in-form opener KL Rahul to the hut.

Virat Kohli, who scored 57,  helped his team to a total of 151/7 in 20 overs. But in the end, the target of 152 was not enough as Pakistan openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam scored 79*, and 68*, respectively, to win the match for their team by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

“In any tournament when you win the first match, it gives you confidence so when we beat India it lifted our confidence hugely. I have been part of many World Cup matches against India and after all those defeats we had to bear the consequences but we always used to have strong comebacks. This time we won and it was great to be part of that team which beat India.”

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steered Pakistan to a 10-wicket victory against India (PTI).
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steered Pakistan to a 10-wicket victory against India (PTI).

Mohammad Hafeez asserts that he is entirely focused on the World Cup.

“I am focusing on this World Cup so after this tournament I will decide what to do,” he said.

“I am a very emotional sort of player and playing for Pakistan is a great pride for me.”

Despite his age, Mohammad Hafeez has kept his Pakistan career on track owing to his consistent performances in the middle order. Overall, he has played 117 T20Is, scoring 2482 runs at a strike rate of about 121 besides picking 61 scalps averaging 22.16.

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021
Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021. Image Credits: Twitter
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Decision To Pull Out From Pakistan Tour Was Beyond Players’ Control: Kane Williamson

Kane Williamson, New Zealand captain, called his country’s pull-out of the Pakistan tour last month “unfortunate”, confirming that it was beyond the players’ control.

After the T20I World Cup fixture between New Zealand and Pakistan in Sharjah on Tuesday, the tour withdrawal questions came to Blackcaps skipper Kane Williamson thick and fast at the post-match press conference. The Kiwi skipper was dignity personified.

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson. (Photo Source: Getty Images).

Against New Zealand, Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf began the game with a 149 kph yorker that literally took Martin Guptill out of the game. He survived that ball but didn’t field in the second innings. Three of Haris Rauf’s four wickets came through slower deliveries.

It was a sign of his evolution and an understanding of the conditions in Sharjah. Pakistan has played 13 T20Is in the UAE since 2016 and won all games. Haris Rauf led a clinical bowling display with an excellent four-wicket haul to restrict Kiwis to below-par 134/8.

“That was obviously a very unfortunate, disappointing situation for Pakistani cricket fans and the cricketers, a decision that was outside of the players’ control. But all the guys were there looking forward to that series to start, and unfortunately, it didn’t happen. So it was very disappointing for all involved,” the Blackcaps skipper said.

Pakistan's Haris Rauf celebrates the dismissal of New Zealand's Martin Guptill during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match between New Zealand and Pakistan in Sharjah, UAE, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021.
Image Source : (AP PHOTO/AIJAZ RAHI)

Kane Williamson was asked if the Pakistan team and their fans were aggressive towards New Zealand. The skipper hailed their opponents for showing the right spirit.

“No, they played in the right spirit, I believe, and a great spirit. They’re a very competitive, proud cricketing nation, and they showed that tonight. They’ve been outstanding in the first couple of games of this tournament. I’m sure they’ll be very, very competitive throughout the back end as well. Their hopes are high, no doubt.”

Most of the Pakistan top-order batters, except for opener Mohammad Rizwan (33), struggled but the experienced Shoaib Malik (26 not out off 20 balls) and number seven Asif Ali (27 not out off 12) flourished towards the end with a 48-run partnership for the sixth wicket to take Pakistan home with eight balls to spare.

Kane Williamson: It Was A Shame To Pull Out From The Limited Overs Series In Pakistan Tour

The next question reporters asked was whether Kane Williamson would like to play in the Pakistan Super League and his message to Pakistani people. Kane Williamson didn’t show any signs of impatience.

“The Pakistan league is a brilliant league. Sometimes that clashes, I think, with some of our cricket back home. So that’s always a tough one, but as an international player, often you do look at these other opportunities when the timing is right, and they’re always fantastic experiences,” he said, adding: “I’ve heard a lot of really good things from other players that have played over there as well. Yeah, it’s, I suppose, something to consider in the future.”

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of ARY Sports

About the disappointment faced by the Pakistani cricketer fans, he said: “… it was very, very disappointing for not only Pakistan players and fans, but also the players that were there that were very enthusiastic about playing in the series. It was a real shame to not have that series go ahead and be played in front of what are some of the most passionate cricket supporters in the world and a very proud cricketing nation. So that was a real shame.”

Following the New Zealand and England tour cancellation, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja had hit out at New Zealand Cricket, threatening to take the matter before the ICC and urging his players to play their T20 World Cup game against the Kiwis with added intensity. On the field, however, there wasn’t any carry-over of the board-level acrimony.

This was Pakistan’s second consecutive win after their comprehensive 10-wicket victory over India on Sunday. The New Zealand team, playing in its first match, had recently withdrawn from a scheduled series against Pakistan after landing there, citing a security threat that did not exist according to the host country.

Brief Scores: Pakistan 135 for 5 (Rizwan 33, Asif 27*, Sodhi 2-29) beat New Zealand 134 for 8 (Mitchell 27, Rauf 4-22) by five wickets

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
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Babar Azam Optimistic About Pakistan’s Chances In T20I World Cup 2021

Babar Azam, Pakistan captain, is optimistic about the Pakistan team taking advantage of the conditions in place in the UAE during the forthcoming 2021 T20 World Cup.

The UAE has played host to Pakistan’s home games since 2009 after the militant attack in Sri Lanka cricketers’ bus. Although teams have started touring Pakistan in recent years, the UAE has hosted most of its games in the last decade or so.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam  (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Babar Azam: Record At UAE Is Excellent As The Conditions Really Suited Pakistan

Pakistan is quite familiar with the conditions in the UAE-which was their 2nd home after the attack. They had an impeccable record in the shortest format of the game under Mickey Arthur, claiming the top spot in the rankings.

Speaking about his team’s campaign in the 2021 T20 World Cup, Babar Azam sounded upbeat about Pakistan’s chances, saying: “Our record there is excellent, it’s the place where we became world No. 1. The performances we produced, both as a team and individually, show the conditions really suited us. Our record and consistency there is proof of that. These days we understand teams are playing more positive cricket, and we need to continue to do that, too.”

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

Pakistan heads into the T20 World Cup off a 1-0 series win in a rain-hit 4 matches T20I series over West Indies and a 2-1 series defeat against England. They had limited-overs series against England and New Zealand scheduled at home ahead of the T20 World Cup, but the tours never came to fruition.

Both boards pulled out at the last minute to tour Pakistan, citing security concerns and the wellbeing of players. New Zealand had even arrived there, but withdrew a few minutes before the toss happened.

Babar Azam: Pakistan Struggling In Middle Order And Death Bowling

Babar Azam outlined the shortcomings in the current Pakistan team looking to win their second T20 World Cup after 2009. The captain rued that the players selected have been unable to remain consistent for a significant period of time. That has resulted in players getting dropped, leading to more experimentation and newer combinations.

Babar Azam said: “We’re struggling in two areas, middle order and death bowling, and have done for some time. We’ve tried different combinations and tried to assess who could suit the team if they played in certain positions. It didn’t work out, unfortunately, but that’s cricket. “

Shoaib Malik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Shoaib Malik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Babar Azam continued in this regard: “If you select players, you cannot guarantee that they will perform. There are ups and downs, and the players we selected were chosen because they had performed elsewhere. You need to take your chances if you want to stay in the Pakistan team. You will have to perform consistently, otherwise you get demoted to the bench.”

Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali have replaced Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain, respectively, while Fakhar Zaman, originally named a travel reserve, has swapped places with Khushdil Shah. In addition, veteran batsman Shoaib Malik has been included in Pakistan’s Twenty20 World Cup squad, replacing top-order batsman Sohaib Maqsood, who was ruled out due to a back problem, selectors said Saturday.

England and Wales Cricket Board
England and Wales Cricket Board
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ECB Never Asked Players Whether Pakistan Tour Should Go Ahead: Team England Player Partnership (TEPP)

ECB is under fire from all quarters for cancelling the tour of Pakistan. England and Wales Cricket Board who to date was shielding themselves by claiming that the tour was cancelled only after discussion with the players – are now embarrassed by their own team.

The England cricketers’ union has denied rumours of players having a role in the England and Wales Cricket Board cancelling next month’s tour of Pakistan. Much to the dismay of the PCB, its counterparts abandoned the visit, citing potential bio-bubble exhaustion. However, news has emerged that the England and Wales Cricket Board did not ask the cricketers if they wanted to play in Pakistan.

England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

ECB Never Asked Players’ Opinions Before Pak Tour Cancellation: Team England Player Partnership (TEPP)

Moreover, the players’ union’s official statement debunked rumours of its intervention to stop the Pakistan tour from going ahead. A TEPP official said that the ECB hadn’t even consulted with the players before abandoning the series. The association also denied claims of the players’ refusal to tour Pakistan.

“At no stage has the ECB ever asked Team England Player Partnership or the teams, men and women, whether the tour should go ahead or whether players were prepared to tour Pakistan. At no stage has Team England Player Partnership informed the ECB that the players would not be touring.”

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

After the ECB announced its decision, its counterparts were furious, especially PCB chairman Ramiz Raja. Ramiz Raja was disappointed in England for failing to return the favour they did to them in 2020 by touring the nation under challenging circumstances arising due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) cited “increasing concerns about travelling to the region” just days after New Zealand also pulled out of the Pakistan tour over security concerns. The T20I bilateral series was supposed to be part of the preparation ahead of the next month’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. New Zealand pulled out of their Pakistan tour even before play started in the 1st ODI in Rawalpindi.

ECB Met Last Sunday To Debate The Pakistan Tour And Information Of The Cancelled Tour Came In The Afternoon: Team England Player Partnership (TEPP)

The spokesperson further revealed that the ECB met on Sunday and decided to cancel the tour, informing them in the afternoon. Hence, the players did not influence the apex body’s decision. After New Zealand, England calls off the Pakistan tour due to security concerns.

“The ECB board met last Sunday to debate the tour to Pakistan. That afternoon we were informed the tour had been cancelled. Team England Player Partnership was not asked for our input and we were not involved in the decision to cancel the tour.”

ECB Never Asked Players Whether Pakistan Tour Should Go Ahead- PTI
ECB Never Asked Players Whether Pakistan Tour Should Go Ahead- PTI

After the ECB scrapped next month’s tour, the PCB has started making contingency plans ahead of its scheduled home series against England in 2022. Ramiz Raja has already expressed his lack of faith in the ECB, given England’s multi-format series in Pakistan in October 2022.

Team England Player Partnership (TEPP) said that they were in the dark and were told about the cancellation of the tour after the ECB members themselves met on Sunday. England players have strongly denied any reports of them denying to tour Pakistan after the ECB pulled out of the limited-overs series in Pakistan.
England was in line to play two T20Is in the build-up to the forthcoming T20 World Cup 2021, while the women’s team was scheduled to feature in five matches on the trip to Pakistan. Already reeling from New Zealand’s last-minute tour abandonment, Pakistan suffered another massive jolt on Monday as ECB pulled out both its men’s and women’s teams from the tour of the country.
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
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Pakistan ‘Used And Then Binned’ By England: Ramiz Raja

Ramiz Raja, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman said on Tuesday he felt “used and then binned” after England followed New Zealand’s example as they cancelled a white-ball tour for both their men’s and women’s teams next month.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) cited “increasing concerns about travelling to the region” just days after New Zealand also pulled out of the Pakistan tour over security concerns. However, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Christian Turner, confirmed the decision was taken by the ECB on the grounds of player welfare.

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

Ramiz Raja: It’s The Feeling Of Being Used And Then Binned After England Withdrew From Pakistan Tour

The first trip by the England men’s side to Pakistan since 2005 was only meant to last only four days with two Twenty20 matches in Rawalpindi on October 13 and 14. Two women’s T20 matches were scheduled to be held on the same days as double-headers with three women’s one-day internationals to follow in the same city.

Public reaction to the withdrawal in Pakistan has been furious. Pakistan travelled to England last year at a time when Covid-19 infection rates in Britain were among the highest in the world for a three-match Test and T20 series that saved the ECB millions in television rights deals.

“It’s the feeling of being used and then binned. That’s the feeling I have right now,” Raja told reporters.

England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

“A little bit of hand-holding, a little bit of caring was needed after the New Zealand pull out and we didn’t get that from England which is so frustrating. We’ve been going out of our way to meet the international demands, being such a responsible member of the cricketing fraternity, and in return we get a response from ECB saying the players were spooked by New Zealand’s withdrawal. What does that mean?”

New Zealand officials refused to give details of the security threat that forced them to abruptly cancel their matches.

Christian Turner: Decision To Withdraw From Pakistan Tour Was Made By The ECB Based On Concerns For Player Welfare

A deadly 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore saw Pakistan become a no-go destination for international teams. In between 2012 and 2015, Pakistan hosted England in the UAE, which has staged most of its “home” games since the attack. A rapid improvement in security in recent years has led to the return of international cricket, with Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, South Africa and Bangladesh touring in the past six years.

“I share the deep sadness of cricket fans that England will not tour Pakistan in October,” Turner said in a video post on Twitter.

“This was a decision made by the ECB, which is independent of the British government, based on concerns for player welfare. The British High Commission supported the tour; did not advise against it on security grounds; and our travel advice for Pakistan has not changed.”

The T20 series was supposed to be part of the preparation for England’s men ahead of the next month’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.  But many of their star players would now be free to play in the latter stages of the lucrative second half of Indian Premier League 2021, also being hosted in the UAE, should their sides reach the knockout phase.

“You are quoting fatigue and mental tension and players being spooked and a hour-and-a-half flight from here before a World Cup they are quite happy to be caged in a bubble environment and carry on with the tournament,” added Raja.

“One feels slighted, one feels humiliated because withdrawal doesn’t have an answer.”

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

Heather Knight recently spoke enthusiastically about the prospect of captaining England Women on their first visit to the country. But on Tuesday she admitted the decision to withdraw had been taken out of her hands.

“The conversation and the communication between the board and PCA is a strong one, and it was a tricky situation with what had gone on with New Zealand,” Knight said after England Women lost to New Zealand in a one-day international.

“Taking it out of our hands is probably the right thing to do. That was done with a view to try and look after the players. Hopefully, sometime in the future we’ll be able to go. I do think it is important for them, particularly in women’s cricket with what’s going on in the region.”

New Zealand pulled out of their Pakistan tour even before play started in the 1st ODI in Rawalpindi. The Kiwis left Islamabad on a charter flight the next night. The Pakistan tour was Black Cap’s first tour to the Asian country since 2003 and it was made possible after receiving clearance from their security agency.

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.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. (File)
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. (File)
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Imran Khan To Meet Pakistan’s T20 World Cup Squad To Boost Players’ Morale

Imran Khan, Pakistan’s Prime Minister who is also the patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), will meet the national T20 World Cup squad on Wednesday (tomorrow), said sources in a bid to boost the morale of the cricketers after England and New Zealand called off their Pakistan tours.

Sources privacy to the matter said that arrangements were being finalized for the meeting between the premier and Pakistan’s T20 squad, selected for the upcoming T20I World Cup. During the meeting, Imran Khan, the 1992 World Cup-winning captain, will share his experiences and give tips to the players apart from a motivational lecture as well.

Besides all the members of the T20 team, PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja and other senior officials of the board will be among the attendees of the meeting.

Prime Minister Imran Khan.Photo: file
Prime Minister Imran Khan.Photo: file

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan To Meet T20I Players To Boost Morale

After New Zealand decided to abandon their tour of Pakistan right ahead of the first ODI, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Monday announced that its men’s and women’s tour of Pakistan would not go ahead as planned.

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

Already reeling from New Zealand’s last-minute tour abandonment, Pakistan suffered another massive jolt on Monday as ECB pulled out both its men’s and women’s teams from the tour of the country. With the likes of Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka touring the country, it seemed things were starting to get back on track. But England and New Zealand withdrawing from their respective tours will be a body blow to the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Pakistan Mulling Legal Action Against England, NZC

Earlier today, Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chauhdry said that Pakistan will consult legal experts to take action against the England and New Zealand cricket boards after they cancelled tours citing “security” issues that cost the Pakistan Television (PTV) millions of rupees.

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

In a tweet, he said that consultations would be held with lawyers for taking legal action against both the boards- England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the New Zealand Cricket (NZC). The minister said that an international lobby was working against Pakistan. He said those who want to force Pakistan to surrender before them never succeed and they should end their misconception as early as possible.

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
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Ramiz Raja Disappointed In England’s Expected Withdrawal And Said “It Was A Lesson For Pakistan”

Ramiz Raja, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman has said that both England and New Zealand’s decision to not play series in Pakistan is a lesson for them and now they will just look after their own interest.

After New Zealand decided to abandon their tour of Pakistan right ahead of the first ODI, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Monday announced that its men’s and women’s tour of Pakistan would not go ahead as planned.

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

Ramiz Raja Disappointed In England’s Expected Withdrawal After New Zealand Which Was A Lesson To Pakistan

Already reeling from New Zealand’s last-minute tour abandonment, Pakistan suffered another massive jolt on Monday as ECB pulled out both its men’s and women’s teams from the tour of the country.

“I am severely disappointed in England’s withdrawal but it was expected because this western bloc gets united unfortunately and tries to back each other. So you can take any decision on the basis of security threat and perception. There was a sense of anger because first New Zealand got away without sharing information about the threat they were facing,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Ramiz Raja as saying.

“Now, this England was expected but this is a lesson for us because we go out of our way to accommodate and pamper these sides when they visit. And when we go there, we undergo strict quarantines and we tolerate their admonishments, but there is a lesson in this. That is, that from now on we will only go as far as is in our interest,”Ramiz Raja added.

England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

Further talking about cricket in Pakistan, Ramiz Raja said: “Our interest is that cricket will not stop in our country and if the cricket fraternity will not take care of each other then there’s no point to it. New Zealand, then England, now we have a West Indies series that can also be hit, and Australia who is already reconsidering. This – England, Australia, New Zealand – is all one block. Who can we complain to? We thought they were our own but they haven’t accepted us as theirs.

“We have to improve and expand our cricket economy so that these countries remain interested in playing us. That is in our interests as well so that our players are paid better and we are respected more. They come to the PSL where they don’t get spooked or fatigued but collectively they have a different mindset together toward Pakistan,” Ramiz Raja added.

With the likes of Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka touring the country, it seemed things were starting to get back on track. But England and New Zealand withdrawing from their respective tours will be a body blow to the Pakistan Cricket Board.  On Monday, the ECB announced that it was withdrawing both the men’s and women’s teams from next month’s white-ball series in Pakistan citing “increasing concerns about travelling to the region”.

New Zealand had earlier pulled out of their Pakistan tour even before play started in the 1st ODI in Rawalpindi. The Kiwis left Islamabad on a charter flight on Saturday night. The Pakistan tour was Black Cap’s first tour to the Asian country since 2003 and it was made possible after receiving clearance from their security agency.

Ramiz Raja: Pakistan Would Develop A Mindset Not To Lose And Will Avenge The Withdrawals In The Ground In T20I WC

Rawalpindi was due to host men’s and women’s T20 double-headers on October 13 and 14 as England’s men prepare for next month’s T20 World Cup. England women’s team were then due to play one-day internationals (ODIs) on October 17, 19, and 21, also in Rawalpindi.

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

Ramiz Raja said that his team would now be required to channel all their frustration into showcasing good performance in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

“We go in the World Cup now and where we had one team in our target – our neighbours India, they now add two more teams – New Zealand and England. So pick up the strength and develop a mindset that we are not going to lose because you didn’t do right by us with us and we will avenge that in the ground,” said Ramiz Raja.

There are a few surprises in the Pakistan squad as veteran players like Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed, who captained Pakistan in 2007 and 2016 T20 WCs respectively, did not get a chance in the squad. Aggressive opener Fakhar Zaman and leg-spinner Usman Qadir were not picked in the 15-man squad but the two players along with Shahnawaz Dahani were picked as reserves.

Pakistan Squad For ICC T20 World Cup 2021

Babar Azam (C), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Azam Khan, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim,Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood.

Traveling reserves – Fakhar Zaman , Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir

Pakistan’s Complete Schedule Against The Following Teams In T20I WC:-

October 24: India 7:30 pm Dubai

October 26: New Zealand 7:30 pm Sharjah

October 29: Afghanistan  – 7:30 pm Dubai

November 2: Runner Up of Group A (A2) – 7:30 pm Abu Dhabi

November 7: Winner of Group B (B1) – 7:30 pm Sharjah

Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
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Wasim Khan Points At Inequality In Terms Of Treatment Towards Pakistan

Wasim Khan, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive, has pointed at “inequality” in terms of treatment towards Pakistan, in the backdrop of the New Zealand team pulling out of the tour due to security concerns.

Wasim Khan, who insisted that the security protocols that were in place for the Kiwi team were similar to the presidential security when the Royal Couple visited Pakistan in 2019, said the PCB will take the matter up with the apex board ICC and New Zealand Cricket in order to prevent countries from taking unilateral decisions regarding pull-outs which will have an adverse impact on the host country.

Wasim Khan said that PCB will take the matter up with the ICC and NZC in order to prevent other countries from unilaterally pulling out
Wasim Khan said that PCB will take the matter up with the ICC and NZC in order to prevent other countries from unilaterally pulling out © Getty

Wasim Khan: PCB Will Take The Matter Up With The ICC And New Zealand Cricket

New Zealand pulled out of their Pakistan tour even before play started in the 1st ODI in Rawalpindi. The Kiwis left Islamabad on a charter flight later. The Pakistan tour was the Black Cap’s first tour to the Asian country since 2003 and it was made possible after receiving clearance from their security agency.

“Ramiz Raja, the chairman, and myself will be taking this up at the ICC level but also with New Zealand. It is something that we’ll be pushing to have a discussion more broadly over this topic, when we sit at the ICC table,” Wasim Khan said at an online press conference on Sunday (September 19).

“Because as I said, the issue we have at the moment is that people can unilaterally make that decision without any consequences for themselves. There’s consequences for the others who are the recipients, in this case it was us. Is it fair that that can happen?” Wasim Khan said

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

“Yes we understand that there was guidance provided by the New Zealand government. But were we not owed the respect to at least to have some dialogue to share the information, security to security, to see if we can mitigate the potential threat,” Wasim Khan said

“We at the PCB didn’t need to know about the security threat, that could have been done at security level, and collaborations could happen at international level. We all want to see a peaceful, harmonious world. If at that level, we cannot share information outside a circle, then it’s going to be very hard for countries to be able to deal with and mitigate any potential threats that might be,” Wasim Khan said

“There is inequality. I don’t care what people say and I’ve been around cricket for a very very long time. We went to New Zealand, Bangladesh. We’ve done everything that’s been asked of us. We’ve shown solidarity in cricket. Our players have gone through hardships in 14 days of quarantine in New Zealand,” Wasim Khan said

“We went after the Bangladesh team got attacked in a Masjid. We’ve done everything we possibly could do. What we have to look at now is that we expect fair treatment the other way as well. It’s easy to walk out of countries like Pakistan without any reason, any dialogue or discussion. That has to stop. Because the inequality has to stop in world cricket, unless we do that we’re not going to have an even playing field, both in treatment and in finances,” Wasim Khan said

The PCB chief executive, who spoke about the security inputs that emanated from Five Eyes – the joint intelligence wing of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, and the US – said there was no change in the travel advisory despite the report that prompted New Zealand to pull out of the Pakistan tour.

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.

Wasim Khan Hopes ECB Will Decide To Send England Team To Pakistan For A Short Tour

Wasim Khan was also hopeful of the forthcoming England tour comprising of 2 T20Is going ahead as per schedule, stressing on ESI head of security Reg Dickinson’s assessment which gave a clean bill of health.

“Our understanding is that from a security perspective, as I mentioned, the travel advisory is an indicator of threat levels. Most of the western embassies and high commissions across the world use the travel advisories as an indicator of where the threat levels are. As it stands at the moment, the travel advisory has not changed from the British High Commission. Nor has it changed for the US, Australia and Canada who are also part of that five-eyes alliance.”

“England are meeting today to make a decision on whether they will tour Pakistan or not. We know what the guidance is, we know from a security perspective there’s a clean bill of health. We certainly hope England will tour. We certainly believe they should be coming and hope they will be coming, based on what the competent authority in Islamabad and the security expert are saying.”

England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

“The same security expert who provided the guidance for the ECB to go to Bangladesh, six weeks after the bomb blast that killed 12 people [in 2016] – so there’s a lot of trusts put into this security expert who is understood and respected around the world. We certainly hope when the board meets, the ECB will decide to send their team to Pakistan for this short tour,” Wasim Khan said

Wasim Khan, meanwhile, ruled out any possibility of Pakistan not playing their match against New Zealand in the T20 World Cup as a mark of protest.

“I don’t think the answer to that is not taking part or playing against New Zealand in the World Cup. We have a duty to the fans, we have a duty still to get out there and play. Our duty is to go out and win that match. This is an ICC World Cup and our job is to go out and do that and we’ll continue to have dialogue and discussion offline, myself and the chairman will do that with the competent authorities,” Wasim Khan said

The indications are that the two-match T20I series for the men’s England team and the five-match program for the women’s team will be postponed. Although it is still a possibility that the two series will go ahead, the England tour is in jeopardy after New Zealand’s pullout.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). (Photo: Twitter)
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). (Photo: Twitter)
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David White Grateful To PCB For Organizing Safe Departure Of New Zealand Team

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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