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New Zealand cricket team to depart from Pakistan today

The New Zealand team, which has called-off its Pakistan tour on security grounds, will reportedly depart on Saturday (September 18) in a chartered plane.

A chartered plane has been arranged for the Kiwis which will take them to New Zealand via the UAE and the Civil Aviation Authority has granted landing permission to the aircraft.

Earlier on Friday, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) had cancelled its tour of Pakistan on security grounds and had also informed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) of it.

Later, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had said that the safety of its players is paramount and meanwhile, supported NZC’s decision to pull out of the Pakistan tour.

“When I spoke with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, I conveyed our thanks for taking care of the New Zealand Cricket team,” Ardern said in a statement sent to Reuters.

“I know how disappointing it will be for everyone that the game hasn’t gone ahead, but we totally support the decision that’s been made. Player safety has to be paramount,” she added.

On the other hand, PCB chairman Ramiz Raja slammed the Kiwi cricket board for pulling out of the series at the last minute on Friday.

The incident happened just few minutes before the first of the three ODIs in Rawalpindi.

Later, the PCB released a statement saying that the NZC was “unilaterally suspending” the tour. On the other hand, Raja warned that the matter will be taken up before the International Cricket Council (ICC) very soon.

“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,” Raja tweeted.

Earlier on Friday following a period of uncertainty and chaos caused by the delay of the first ODI apart from rumours of COVID-19 outbreak in the Kiwi camp, a statement from NZC was issued which said it was cancelling the ongoing tour on a security alert.

Commenting on the development, NZC said in a statement: “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. 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,” it added.

On the other hand, the PCB statement said: “Earlier today, New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series.”

“Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same. The Pakistan Prime Minister spoke personally to the Prime Minister of New Zealand 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,” it added.

Further elaborating, the statement said: “The security officials with the New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan Government throughout their stay here.”

While the ODIs was slated to be held at Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium on September 17, 19, and 21, the historic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore would have had stage the five T20Is between September 25 to October 3.

Notably, the Kiwi cricket team was touring Pakistan after a long gap of 18 years. Earlier, New Zealand’s tour to Pakistan was cut short in 2002 after a bomb explosion outside the team’s hotel in Karachi.

New Zealand had last played an ODI series in Pakistan in 2003.

Shastri hints to step down after T20 World Cup

Indian cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri has hinted that he might step down from his post after the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, slated to be held in the UAE and Oman, as he has said that “I believe one thing — never overstay your welcome.”

Shastri, who was criticised for launching his new book in London and spreading the Covid-19 virus among the Indian support staff two days before the fourth Test at The Oval, said on Saturday: “I believe so because I’ve achieved all I wanted,” when asked whether the ICC T20 World Cup would be his last outing with Team India as chief coach.”

“Five years as No 1 (in Test cricket), to win in Australia twice, to win in England. I spoke to Michael Atherton earlier this summer and said: ‘For me, this is the ultimate — to beat Australia in Australia and win in England in Covid times.’ We lead England 2-1 and the way we played at Lord’s and the Oval was special,” Shastri told The Guardian.

“We’ve also beaten every country in the world in their own backyard in white-ball cricket. If we win the (T20) World Cup that will be the icing on the cake. There is nothing more. I believe one thing –never overstay your welcome. And I would say that, in terms of what I wanted to get out of the side, I’ve over-achieved. To beat Australia away and to lead the series in England in a Covid year? It is the most satisfying moment of my four decades in cricket,” added he.

After few days of book-launch function, where no masks were worn, Shastri had returned positive for Covid-19 following which he had to go into isolation along with four members of his support staff.

Later, India’s assistant physio Yogesh Parmar had also tested positive following which the fifth and final Test in Manchester against England had to be called off.

“It was funny because in my 10 days I didn’t have a single symptom barring a little sore throat. I never had any temperature and my oxygen level was 99% all the time. I didn’t take any medication through 10 days of my isolation, not a single paracetamol. I tell the guys: ‘Once you’re double jabbed, it’s a bloody 10-day flu. That’s it,'” said Shastri.

When asked whether he had discussed the emerging situation with his players, the head coach said: “No. I didn’t know who had got it (Covid-19). I didn’t know (the physio) got it suddenly and tested positive. He physically treated five or six players. I think that’s where the issue started. We were aware that the incubation period meant that someone might get it in the middle (of the Test).”

“A lot of players had their families there. So it became a situation where you don’t know what that player is thinking. He’s got a young kid, you know, he’s got to think of them. It was a little, I would say, touchy,” he added.

India will kick-off their T20 World Cup 2021 campaign with a blockbluster clash against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24.

The tour has been cancelled on basis of conspiracy: Pakistan’s Interior Minister

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Interior – Sheikh Rasheed believes that New Zealand authorities do not have any substantive proof of a threat in Pakistan and the tour was cancelled on the basis of a conspiracy.

Addressing a press conference after the Kiwis pulled out of Pakistan tour, Rasheed said that New Zealand took a unilateral decision even as they had Pakistan provided presidential security arrangements for the team.

Rasheed further said that New Zealand authorities did not have any evidence to support their claim of ‘security threat’ as the Pakistan army, security forces, and 4,000 police personnel were arranged for them.

“The prime minister was briefed on the matter. He then called New Zealand Prime Minister [Jacinda Ardern] and assured her that there was no security threat,” Rasheed said.

He further said that in a response to Imran Khan, New Zealand’s PM has said that there were reports that the team might be attacked once it steps out of the hotel.

“The security institution of Pakistan had not received reports of threats to the New Zealand cricket team. They took a unilateral decision to cancel their tour,” Rasheed said.

“The tour has been cancelled on the basis of a conspiracy. This is their [New Zealand] problem. The National Crises Management Cell and other institutions had tried to convince them, but New Zealand’s government has taken a unilateral decision,” he claimed.

“This conspiracy has been hatched to tarnish the image of Pakistan, as its image was going to build up due to the role it is playing for peace in the region,” he added.

Earlier, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had said that the safety of its players is paramount and meanwhile, supported New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) decision to pull out of its Pakistan tour.

“When I spoke with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, I conveyed our thanks for taking care of the New Zealand Cricket team,” Ardern said in a statement sent to Reuters.

“I know how disappointing it will be for everyone that the game hasn’t gone ahead, but we totally support the decision that’s been made. Player safety has to be paramount,” she added.

Meanwhile, PCB chairman Ramiz Raja slammed the Kiwi cricket board for pulling out of the series at the last minute on Friday.

The incident happened just few minutes before the first of the three ODIs in Rawalpindi when NZC decided to pull out citing security concerns.

Later, the PCB released a statement saying that the NZC was “unilaterally suspending” the tour. On the other hand, Raja warned that the matter will be taken up before the International Cricket Council (ICC) very soon.

“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,” Raja tweeted.

Earlier in the day following a period of uncertainty and chaos caused by the delay of the first ODI apart from rumours of COVID-19 outbreak in the Kiwi camp, a statement from New Zealand Cricket (NZC) was issued which said it was cancelling the ongoing tour on a security alert.

Commenting on the development, NZC said in a statement: “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. 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,” it added.

On the other hand, the PCB statement said: “Earlier today, New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series.”

“Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same. The Pakistan Prime Minister spoke personally to the Prime Minister of New Zealand 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,” it added.

Further elaborating, the statement said: “The security officials with the New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan Government throughout their stay here.”

While the ODIs was slated to be held at Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium on September 17, 19, and 21, the historic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore would have had stage the five T20Is between September 25 to October 3.

Notably, the Kiwi cricket team was touring Pakistan after a long gap of 18 years. Earlier, New Zealand’s tour to Pakistan was cut short in 2002 after a bomb explosion outside the team’s hotel in Karachi.

New Zealand had last played an ODI series in Pakistan in 2003.

UK envoy Christian Turner dismisses reports of involvement in NZ’s cancellation of Pak tour

British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner has rejected speculations and reports of involvement in the Pakistan-New Zealand tour being called-off.

New Zealand Cricket, earlier in the day, had cancelled its tour of Pakistan on security grounds and had also informed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) of it.

UK envoy Turner turned down reports of Britain’s involvement in the matter and said the New Zealand authorities had taken the decision independently.

“Speculation that British High Commission was involved in PakvsNZ tour being called off are untrue; this was a decision for the New Zealand authorities & taken independently. I recognise that this is a sad day for cricket fans in of Pakistan & around the globe who were looking forward to the series,” he tweeted

Earlier, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had said that the safety of its players is paramount and meanwhile, supported New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) decision to pull out of its Pakistan tour.

“When I spoke with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, I conveyed our thanks for taking care of the New Zealand Cricket team,” Ardern said in a statement sent to Reuters.

“I know how disappointing it will be for everyone that the game hasn’t gone ahead, but we totally support the decision that’s been made. Player safety has to be paramount,” she added.

Meanwhile, PCB chairman Ramiz Raja slammed the Kiwi cricket board for pulling out of the series at the last minute on Friday.

The incident happened just few minutes before the first of the three ODIs in Rawalpindi when NZC decided to pull out citing security concerns.

Later, the PCB released a statement saying that the NZC was “unilaterally suspending” the tour. On the other hand, Raja warned that the matter will be taken up before the International Cricket Council (ICC) very soon.

“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,” Raja tweeted.

Earlier in the day following a period of uncertainty and chaos caused by the delay of the first ODI apart from rumours of COVID-19 outbreak in the Kiwi camp, a statement from New Zealand Cricket (NZC) was issued which said it was cancelling the ongoing tour on a security alert.

Commenting on the development, NZC said in a statement: “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. 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,” it added.

On the other hand, the PCB statement said: “Earlier today, New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series.”

“Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same. The Pakistan Prime Minister spoke personally to the Prime Minister of New Zealand 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,” it added.

Further elaborating, the statement said: “The security officials with the New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan Government throughout their stay here.”

While the ODIs was slated to be held at Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium on September 17, 19, and 21, the historic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore would have had stage the five T20Is between September 25 to October 3.

Notably, the Kiwi cricket team was touring Pakistan after a long gap of 18 years. Earlier, New Zealand’s tour to Pakistan was cut short in 2002 after a bomb explosion outside the team’s hotel in Karachi.

New Zealand had last played an ODI series in Pakistan in 2003.

Anil Jayaraj appointed CEO-Sports of Viacom18

Viacom18, an Indian joint venture operation between TV18 and ViacomCBS based in Mumbai, has announced the signing of Anil Jayaraj as the CEO-Sports.

After the appointment, Jayaraj will look after the Media & Entertainment network beside the sports properties of the organisation for broadcasting and monetization rights.

Commenting on the development, Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman, Network18 said: “As a leading media & entertainment network in India, Viacom18 has been dialling up its offerings to tap into whitespaces across platforms. We believe that sports is an important category in our promise to deliver wholesome entertainment to our 800mn+ viewers across demographics and geographies.”

“With his rich experience in identifying and building sporting events into high value sportainment phenomena, Anil is aptly poised to lead our newest sports vertical,” he added.

On the other hand, Jayaraj expressed: “Sporting events in India have evolved beyond just one or two games with increasing fandom amongst audiences towards newer competitive sports. This democratisation has created an unmatched opportunity for sportainment and I am excited to build Viacom18 network’s foray into sports as a category.”

Earlier, Jayaraj, has experience in both B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) strategies, was associated with Star Sports as its Executive Vice President and managed advertisement revenue and sales.

He was in charge of tournaments like the Indian Premier League (IPL), ICC Cricket World Cup, Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) and Indian Super League (ISL).

In the past, Jayaraj has worked as Chief Marketing Officer at Pidilite Industries Limited and was also associated with BP/Castrol in sales and marketing roles in the UK and India for 16 years.

New Zealand just killed Pakistan cricket: Shoaib Akhtar

New Zealand’s last-minute decision to cancel their limited-overs tour of Pakistan just before the first ODI in Rawalpindi has didn’t go well with former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar, who slammed the touring team and its cricket board, saying “NZ just killed Pakistan cricket”.

“Sad scenes & news from Rawalpindi. Following points for New Zealand to remember: 9 Pakistanis were killed in the Christchurch attack. Pakistan stood strong with New Zealand. Pakistan toured New Zealand in the worst of Covid circumstances regardless of the crude treatment by NZ authorities on that tour,” Akhtar expressed.

“This was just an unverified threat, it could have been discussed. Prime Minister Imran Khan personally spoke to his NZ counterpart and assured but it was still refused. Pakistan has safely hosted South Africa, Bangladesh, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe & PSL,” he added.

Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Babar Azam also expressed his disappointment following the announcement and said: “Extremely disappointed on the abrupt postponement of the series, which could have brought the smiles back for millions of Pakistan Cricket Fans. I’ve full trust in the capabilities and credibility of our security agencies. They are our pride and always will be! Pakistan Zindabad!”

The incident happened just few minutes before the first of the three ODIs in Rawalpindi when NZC decided to pull out citing security concerns.

Later, the PCB released a statement saying that the NZC was “unilaterally suspending” the tour. On the other hand,  Raja warned that the matter will be taken up before the International Cricket Council (ICC) very soon.

Earlier in the day following a period of uncertainty and chaos caused by the delay of the first ODI apart from rumours of COVID-19 outbreak in the Kiwi camp, a statement from New Zealand Cricket (NZC) was issued which said it was cancelling the ongoing tour on a security alert.

Commenting on the development, NZC said in a statement: “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. 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,” it added.

On the other hand, the PCB statement said: “Earlier today, New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series.”

“Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same. The Pakistan Prime Minister spoke personally to the Prime Minister of New Zealand 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,” it added.

Further elaborating, the statement said: “The security officials with the New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan Government throughout their stay here.”

While the ODIs was slated to be held at Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium on September 17, 19, and 21, the historic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore would have had stage the five T20Is between September 25 to October 3.

Notably, the Kiwi cricket team was touring Pakistan after a long gap of 18 years. Earlier, New Zealand’s tour to Pakistan was cut short in 2002 after a bomb explosion outside the team’s hotel in Karachi.

PCB Chairman furious as New Zealand cancels Pak tour

After New Zealand Cricket (NZC) announced to abandon their current Pakistan tour due to security concerns, newly-appointed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja slammed the Kiwi cricket board for pulling out of the series at the last minute on Friday.

The incident happened just few minutes before the first of the three ODIs in Rawalpindi when NZC decided to pull out citing security concerns.

Later, the PCB released a statement saying that the NZC was “unilaterally suspending” the tour. On the other hand,  Raja warned that the matter will be taken up before the International Cricket Council (ICC) very soon.

“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,” Raja tweeted.

Earlier in the day following a period of uncertainty and chaos caused by the delay of the first ODI apart from rumours of COVID-19 outbreak in the Kiwi camp, a statement from New Zealand Cricket (NZC) was issued which said it was cancelling the ongoing tour on a security alert.

Commenting on the development, NZC said in a statement: “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. 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,” it added.

On the other hand, the PCB statement said: “Earlier today, New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series.”

“Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same. The Pakistan Prime Minister spoke personally to the Prime Minister of New Zealand 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,” it added.

Further elaborating, the statement said: “The security officials with the New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan Government throughout their stay here.”

While the ODIs was slated to be held at Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium on September 17, 19, and 21, the historic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore would have had stage the five T20Is between September 25 to October 3.

Notably, the Kiwi cricket team was touring Pakistan after a long gap of 18 years. Earlier, New Zealand’s tour to Pakistan was cut short in 2002 after a bomb explosion outside the team’s hotel in Karachi.

New Zealand had last played an ODI series in Pakistan in 2003.

England’s Pakistan tour in doubt after NZ incident: Reports

England’s tour of Pakistan, scheduled to be held next month, was thrown into doubt on Friday after the New Zealand abandoned their current tour on security grounds.

On Friday, the New Zelanad’s ongoing Pakistan tour was cancelled just before a ball could had been bowled in the first ODI in Rawalpindi.

Following the incident, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has now said that they will decide on whether next month’s tour of Pakistan will be held or not in the next 48 hours.

“We’re aware of New Zealand’s decision to pull out of the Pakistan tour due to a security alert,” a spokesperson was quoted as saying by standard.co.uk.

“We are liaising with our security team who are on the ground in Pakistan to fully understand the situation. The ECB Board will then decide in the next 24-48 hours whether our planned tour should proceed,” it added.

England men and women are due in Rawalpindi for T20 double-headers on October 13 and 14.

Notably, it will be’the men’s first visit to the country since 2005, and the women’s first-ever visit.

Earlier in the day following a period of uncertainty and chaos caused by the delay of the first ODI apart from rumours of COVID-19 outbreak in the Kiwi camp, a statement from New Zealand Cricket (NZC) was issued which said it was cancelling the ongoing tour on a security alert.

Commenting on the development, NZC said in a statement: “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. 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,” it added.

On the other hand, the PCB statement said: “Earlier today, New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series.”

“Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same. The Pakistan Prime Minister spoke personally to the Prime Minister of New Zealand 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,” it added.

Further elaborating, the statement said: “The security officials with the New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan Government throughout their stay here.”

While the ODIs was slated to be held at Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium on September 17, 19, and 21, the historic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore would have had stage the five T20Is between September 25 to October 3.

Notably, the Kiwi cricket team was touring Pakistan after a long gap of 18 years. Earlier, New Zealand’s tour to Pakistan was cut short in 2002 after a bomb explosion outside the team’s hotel in Karachi.

New Zealand had last played an ODI series in Pakistan in 2003.

New Zealand Cricket team cancels Pakistan tour

The Kiwi cricket team have abandoned their current tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert.

The development took place a few minutes after the the first ODI match between Pakistan and New Zealand was cancelled reportedly owing to security concerns, sources said.

Meanwhile, reports had also suggested that the first ODI of the three-match series was delayed after three Kiwi players had reportedly tested positive for Covid-19.

Commenting on the development, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said in a statement: “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. 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,” it added.

On the other hand, the PCB statement said: “Earlier today, New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series.”

“Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same. The Pakistan Prime Minister spoke personally to the Prime Minister of New Zealand 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,” it added.

Further elaborating, the statement said: “The security officials with the New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan Government throughout their stay here.”

The three ODIs was earlier a part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs, however, due to the non-availability of DRS, it will now be counted as just a bilateral series.

While the ODIs was slated to be held at Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium on September 17, 19, and 21, the historic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore would have had stage the five T20Is between September 25 to October 3.

 

Pak-NZ first ODI called-off after three Kiwi players test positive for Covid-19

The start of the first ODI of the three-match series between Pakistan and New Zealand has been called-off due to Covid-19 cases in the visitors’ camp.

As per reports, as many as three players from the New Zealand team have reportedly tested positive following which players and support staff have been asked to stay in their respective hotel rooms.

Meanwhile, the fans have been barred from entering the stadium.

According to reports in Pakistani media, the Kiwi team has refused to travel to ground to due to security concerns.

After the development, the first match is most likely to be cancelled after the Covid-19 outbreak in New Zealand camp.

Earlier, the New Zealand cricket team was exempted from Covid-19 test at all airports in Pakistan after they arrived to play an ODI and Twenty20 series against the hosts on September 11.

The Civil Aviation Authority ( CAA) of Pakistan had exempted the Kiwi cricket team from the necessary Covid-19 test at all airports in the country after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had urged the authority to do so.

Notably, the Kiwi cricket team is touring Pakistan after a long gap of 18 years.

Earlier, New Zealand’s tour to Pakistan was cut short in 2002 after a bomb explosion outside the team’s hotel in Karachi.

New Zealand had last played an ODI series in Pakistan in 2003.

“Approval is hereby accorded in respect of New Zealand cricket team, with details mentioned in the enclosed documents(s), for travel to Pakistan without Rapid Antigen Testing upon arrival in Pakistan,” CAA had said in its letter.

After completing their ongoing Bangladesh tour, the New Zealand cricket team flied to Pakistan on a chartered plane of Bangladesh’s Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight and landed at the Islamabad airport on September 11.

Last week, Pakistan’s federal cabinet had approved the security plan for the series.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry had said that “extraordinary” security would be provided to the New Zealand team, as an unfortunate incident had occurred during their last tour to Pakistan.

The three ODIs was earlier a part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs, however, due to the non-availability of DRS, it will now be counted as just a bilateral series.

While the ODIs will be held at Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium on September 17, 19, and 21, the historic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore will stage the five T20Is between September 25 to October 3.

Earlier in August, PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan had confirmed the Black Caps tour to Pakistan.

“Series against a top-ranked side like New Zealand will be a perfect start to a mouth-watering and highly-exciting home season of red and white-ball cricket. The 2019 World Cup finalists, who are also the World Test champions and ranked third in T20Is, will draw tremendous attraction and interest from the local fans, and will reinforce Pakistan’s status as a safe and secure country,” Khan had said.

“I am pleased New Zealand Cricket has accepted our offer to play two additional Twenty20 Internationals. These will not only provide extra games to both the countries as part of their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup preparations, but will also allow New Zealand players to spend extra days in Pakistan, familiarise with our culture and enjoy our hospitality. With leading cricket playing countries resuming their tours to Pakistan in 2019, I remain confident and optimistic that the 2021-22 season starting with the series against New Zealand will prove to be a catalyst in rejuvenating our talented youngsters while attracting new fans to the game that has the most passionate following in the country,” he had added.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) Chief Executive David White had commented: “We’re very much looking forward to returning to Pakistan for the start of their home international season. New Zealand was the first country outside India to tour Pakistan and we share a close relationship with the PCB.”

“It’s great that, after such a difficult time for Pakistan, international cricket is again being played in the country,” he added.