Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has slammed the New Zealand cricket team for pulling out of their Pakistan tour earlier this month. The Kiwis decided to abandon their entire tour hours before the first ODI on September 17 was to be played in Rawalpindi.
The NZC board cited security threats given to their government as the reason regarding this decision. However, they didn’t share the specifics of it with the PCB or the Pakistan government and flew out their players soon.
Shahid Afridi reckons that the Kiwi players are loved in Pakistan but did the “unforgivable” act of pulling out while also not explaining that “potential threat”.
“We all know that there is a huge amount of scrutiny when it comes to arranging tours. Proper investigations are conducted by the security members of the touring nation. The routes are defined and only when the process is completed, that is when the teams are given the green signal to visit the country,” Shahid Afridi told website Cricket Pakistan.
“New Zealand cricketers are loved in Pakistan and for them to do something like this is unforgivable. If there was any potential threat, they should have been shared with the PCB and waited for Pakistan’s security forces to assess the situation.”
It’s ok if one country is behind us but other countries should also not make the same mistake: Shahid Afridi
Three days after the Blac Caps pulled out of the tour, the ECB also announced that the England men’s and women’s teams will not be touring Pakistan for their scheduled tour in October for white-ball matches.
On Wednesday, Pakistan’s information minister Fawad Chaudhry had alleged that the e-mail threatening New Zealand players and government “was generated from India through a VPN showing the location of Singapore”.
Shahid Afridi targeted his neighbouring nation demanding that other “educated nations” in the cricketing world “should not follow India”.
“If you have to look at the bigger picture then I think we need to take a decision which shows the world that we are also a country and we have our pride. It’s ok if one country is behind us but I don’t think other countries should also make the same mistake. They are all educated nations and should not follow India.”
The legendary all-rounder also talked about he had toured India during his playing days despite heavy threats; last year, Pakistan also toured England during peak covid-19 situation.
“Instead, cricket should improve relations. Situation was bad in India. We were getting threats. Our board asked us to go and we went there. Similarly, during Covid-19, the situation that there was in England, the cricket went on. If you trust false e-mails and cancel tours then I believe you are offering them fodder to win. This is not the right way,” the 41-year-old asserted.
Babar Azam’s team will meet India, New Zealand, Afghanistan during the Super 12 stage of the upcoming T20 World Cup.