Minutes before the start of the first match in Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium the New Zealand cricket called off its tour of Pakistan due to “Security Reasons”. Earlier, the New Zealand Cricket team arrived in Pakistan to play three One Day International Matches in Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium followed by five T20s in Lahore; the provincial capital of the largest province of Pakistan. This article will try to unfold the possible conspiracy of rival countries to shake the trust of international players amid security concerns. Whereas, earlier to this several events have had been organized in Karachi and Lahore without any security issue.
Impossible to Continue
The New Zealand Cricket Board declared that it’s not possible to continue the tour due to possible security concerns.
The BLACKCAPS are abandoning their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert.
Arrangements are now being made for the team’s departure.
More information | https://t.co/Lkgg6mAsfu
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) September 17, 2021
Pakistan’s Official Stance over the Issue
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said, “Prime Minister Imran Khan contacted New Zealand’s Prime Minister and reassured her that the New Zealand team was being provided foolproof security in Pakistan, and the PCB has said that the New Zealand security team had themselves expressed satisfaction with the Pakistani security arrangements”.
He further added, “Our intelligence agencies are among the best intelligence systems in the world and according to them the New Zealand team does not face any kind of threat.”
After the cancellation, PCB expressed in a statement: “Earlier today, the New Zealand cricket board informed us that they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series. PCB and Govt of Pakistan made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams.”
“We have assured the New Zealand Cricket Board of the same. The Premier spoke personally to New Zealand’s PM and informed her that we have one of the best Intelligence systems in the world and that no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team.”
Earlier today, the New Zealand cricket board informed us that they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series.
PCB and Govt of Pakistan made fool proof security arrangements for all visiting teams. 1/4
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) September 17, 2021
PCB newly appointed Chairman’s Concerns
Upon abandoning the Pakistan tour of NZC at the last minute PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja expressed it as a “crazy” day. Raja said he felt sorry for Pakistani players and spectators.
Crazy day it has been! Feel so sorry for the fans and our players. Walking out of the tour by taking a unilateral approach on a security threat is very frustrating. Especially when it’s not shared!! Which world is NZ living in??NZ will hear us at ICC.
— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) September 17, 2021
Jacinda Ardern says tour called off over safety paramount
Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that she totally supported New Zealand Cricket’s decision to pull out of its Pakistan tour amid security concerns, and the safety of the players was paramount.
Ardern said in a statement sent to Reuters, “When I spoke with the Prime Minister of Pakistan I convey my thanks for taking care of the New Zealand players”
She further added, “I know how disappointing it will be for everyone that the game has not gone ahead, but we totally support the decision that has been made. Player safety has to be paramount.”
Behind the Story
Despite all assurances from the Pakistani government and a positive security assessment, New Zealand Cricket had cancelled its Pakistan tour, citing “security threats” just before the start of the first ODI match. Behind the scene, the involvement of Indian and Israeli Intelligence agencies involvement can not be ruled out. Because, both the agencies were working out their plans to shake the confidence of ICC and International players in Pakistan when Pakistani grounds were again hosting the International events years after the attack at the Sri Lankan Cricket Team in Lahore.
Despite the fact that Pakistani security forces were doing their best to assure and ensure the security of the visiting team, NZC decided unilaterally to abandon the tour.
Pakistani security authorities must dig the conspiracy behind the scene which compelled the visiting team’s authorities to leave the grounds. It’s astonishing that visiting players were quite satisfied with the level of security provided to them in the twin cities of Islamabad/Rawalpindi and they felt them quite safe, but their board decided to pull them out quoting possible security concerns.