New Zealand rescheduling Pakistan tour, claims PCB Chief

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Ramiz Raja has claimed that New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has contacted them regarding the rescheduling of the recently cancelled home series against Pakistan and “good news will be announced within a week”.

Speaking before the Senate Standing Committee on Interprovincial Coordination on different aspects and future goals set up for Pakistan cricket, Raja said: “The PCB may put forward its terms before the NZC by choosing the month of November in 2022 for the rescheduling of the recently postponed series.”

However, the committee chairman Raza Rabbani advised the PCB chiefto turn down the offer saying: “What if we do not allow the New Zealand tour?”

On this, Raja replied: “We have to live with them. But we can tell them that Pakistan can find a time window for the tour at some point in 2022. And if New Zealand were ready to play according to our conditions, then we should have no problem.”

Earlier on September 17, the Kiwi cricket team had abandoned their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert.

The development took place a few minutes before the first ODI match between Pakistan and New Zealand.

Commenting on the development, NZC had 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 had added.

Further elaborating, the statement had 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 would had been counted as just a bilateral series.

While the ODIs were 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 staged the five T20Is between September 25 and October 3.

Later, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had also cancelled their men’s and women’s short tour of Pakistan, which was severely criticised by many former cricketers.

Pakistan will now feature in the upcoming T20 World Cup and will open their campaign against arch-rivals India on October 24 in Dubai.

News Desk

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