Team New Zealand’s first tour of Pakistan in 18 years which consisted of three ODIs and five T20 Internationals was cancelled due to security concerns. Notably, the tour was scheduled to begin on 17 September with a One Day Internationals game at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Meanwhile, Ramiz Raja feels that Pakistan cricket is under tremendous pressure after the cancellation of the series.
New Zealand Cricket released an official statement after the uncertain delay in the game informing about the cancellation.
“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.”
“I understand this will be a blow for the PCB, who have been wonderful hosts, but player safety is paramount and we believe this is the only responsible option,” NZC chief executive David White said in the statement.
“There’s a lot of pressure created on Pakistan cricket”: Ramiz Raja
Meanwhile, The Pakistan Cricket Board chairman (PCB) Ramiz Raja believes that Blackcaps withdrawing from the tour at the last minute has put an unwanted question mark over Pakistan’s ability to host the international cricket games.
“There´s a lot of pressure created on Pakistan cricket and (especially) Pakistan cricket at home,” PCB chairman Ramiz Raja told cricket fans in a video message released Saturday.
“The fight to survive is the base on which we challenge the whole world. If such a situation is developed (again) when international cricket comes under pressure in Pakistan, we will challenge them once again.”
Meanwhile, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) refused to disclose the nature of the security alert from its own government that encouraged the immediate decision to cancel the Pakistan tour. However, a government minister in Pakistan has revealed that New Zealand was suspicious about the attack taking place outside the stadium in Rawalpindi.
Ramiz Raja who recently became the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was furious at the move by New Zealand Cricket. He was disappointed as New Zealand did not share the security threat with either the PCB or the Pakistan government. Ramiz Raja posted a tweet after the cancellation in which he threatened to drag the matter to International Cricket Council (ICC).
“Your pain and my pain are the same, it´s a shared pain,”: Ramiz Raja
Ramiz Raja who is known as “Voice of Pakistan” in the cricketing fraternity has requested Pakistan fans to help the team in the horrible situation.
“Your pain and my pain are the same, it´s a shared pain,” he said. “Whatever happened is not good for Pakistan cricket … The point is that we have experienced this before but we have to move forward.”
Notably, Pakistan and New Zealand are placed in Group 2 of T20 World Cup 2021 alongside India and Afghanistan. After facing arch-rivals India on 24 October. Pakistan will face New Zealand on October 26. Ramiz Raja feels this is the right opportunity Pakistan will get to express their anger by performing well against the Blackcaps in T20 World Cup 2021.
“I want to say to my cricket team vent your frustration and anger by performing well (at the World Cup),” Raja said. “When you become the best team, everybody will want to play against you.
“We should learn from this and move forward, we don´t need to get disappointed.”