New Zealand vs Pakistan tour has been cancelled, stating security issues. The match dates for the 3 ODI’s were decided as 17th, 19th and 21st September in the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi. The teams were all set to commence the matches on Friday, 17th September 2021. The New Zealand vs Pakistan 2021 schedule was stipulated between 17th September to 5th October. It was decided that the two teams would play a five-match T20I series subsequently, which was scheduled between 25th September to 5th October 2021 at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.
The New Zealand’s tour to Pakistan in 2021 marked the return of the Kiwis to Pakistan after 18 years. The last tour took place. The current skipper and wicketkeeper Tom Latham mentioned that he and his players are happy to be in Pakistan, and they are looking forward to the matches.
New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White was elated about the series. He stated he was looking forward to returning to Pakistan to start their international home season. He also stated that New Zealand was the first country apart from India to tour Pakistan.
Unfortunately, the much-awaited series has been called off due to security concerns. The New Zealand team’s decision came across as a huge shock to the South Asian country’s hopes for international cricket. The team was set to play their first match on 17th September 2021 before they were alerted to certain security threats. Though the PCB said that there are no security threats and that they have made “foolproof arrangements” to ensure that the match takes place without any issues, the team decided to not go to the stadium by following the advice from NZC security advisors on the ground.
The New Zealand team refused to share further details about the security threat, but they confirmed the threat against the team to be specific and credible. Hence, the team has decided to return to its home country immediately.
The sudden turn of events happened just minutes before the scheduled start of the one-day international series in Rawalpindi. This decision came across as a blow to the Pakistan cricket board (PCB)
The new PCB chairman Ramiz Raja, who was also a former Pakistan captain, informed that they would be approaching the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take this up further.
Cricket fans from both countries were prepped up to see two top teams perform, and this news came across as a huge shocker and disappointment to them.
The team departed back home, stating that safety is paramount. The New Zealand Cricket (NZC) board updated their fans that the black caps reached Dubai early on Sunday from the Islamabad airport on a charter flight.
A contingent of 34 players and support staff have currently settled in Dubai, where they will be self-isolated under covid protocols. Twenty-four out of them will return to New Zealand, while the remaining players will remain in the UAE to join the New Zealand T20 World Cup squad. The New Zealand T20 World Cup will be commencing from 17th October 2021, on a Sunday.