Tag Archives: Shoaib Akhtar

Pakistan’s ‘real anger’ with New Zealand, not India: Shoaib Akhtar

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has said that his country’s “real anger” was directed towards New Zealand and not Team India as the Kiwis had recently abandoned their tour to his which was followed by England.

“Our real anger is with New Zealand. We will take it out on them, we have no issues with you (India),” Akhtar said while talking during India Today’s show Salaam Cricket 2021.

Significantly 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.

Following New Zealand’s last-minute decision to cancel their limited-overs tour had not gone well with Akhtar, who had slammed the touring Kiwi 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 had 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 had added.

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.

Akhtar also reckoned that the Virat Kohli-led side would be under more pressure as compared to the Green Brigade as the Babar Azam-led side have nothing to lose.

“There is a lot of pressure but it’s less on Pakistan because, first of all, the entire stadium is blue. That is yours. Your fans will be there, your broadcasters, we have no problems if we lose this,” Akhtar said.

“On a serious note, I feel there is a lot at stake for India. If Pakistan bat first and make more than 180 runs, then trust me, the pressure gets to the biggest of players. If India can handle that pressure better than Pakistan, that’s fine, but what if Pakistan surprises you?” he questioned.

Speaking on Kohli, he felt that luck was not on Kohli’s side.

“Captain’s luck is not favourable for Virat Kohli. I feel that Virat Kohli is such a great cricketer, a great guy, but somehow, as a captain, his luck is not striking. I hope it doesn’t strike on the 24th,” Akhtar said.

Pakistan are placed in the second Group in the showpiece event along with India, New Zealand, Afghanistan and two qualifers.

After opening their campaign against the Virat Kohli-led Team India, Pakistan will next face New Zealand at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah October 26.

The Green Brigade will next take on Afghanistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai October 29 before facing the two qualifers on November 2 and 7 in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah respectively.

The two semifinals will be held on November 10 and November 11 with the final to be played on November 14 in Dubai.

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.