New Zealand stand-in captain for the recent Pakistan tour, Tom Latham shared his disappointment at the series being called off after the visitors’ team management acted upon a security threat shared by their government and whisked the team out of Pakistan.
This happened on the day of the first ODI in Rawalpindi when New Zealand was slated to play their first international match on Pakistan soil since 2003. However, the Kiwis called off the entire tour hours before the toss was to take place over a security threat on Friday.
New Zealand Cricket Acted Pretty Swiftly: Tom Latham
Tom Latham was slated to captain New Zealand in both the ODI series and T20I series as regular captain Kane Williamson was in UAE for the second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021). In an interview released by New Zealand Cricket, the left-handed batsman shared his disappointment over missing an opportunity to play in Pakistan.
But he lauded the New Zealand Cricket board for acting swiftly and putting the team and players’ security ahead of anything else. He also mentioned that his Pakistan counterpart Babar Azam was also pretty excited for the tour to begin.
“To be part of that was going to be something special, but obviously things changed, and New Zealand Cricket acted pretty swiftly along with the people on the ground in Pakistan. To have cricket back in their country was something that they were very proud of. I remember doing the captain’s run with Azam the day before and seeing how happy he was to have international cricket and to have us there,” Latham said.
“It was a historic moment as well for New Zealand Cricket to be back there, 18 years since they were last there,” he added.
It Was An Interesting 24 Hours Post That Decision To Call Off The Tour: Tom Latham
There was confusion all around as the crowd was not allowed to enter the Rawalpindi stadium and players from both sides had not reached the venue and begin practice. It was later revealed that the New Zealand team management received a security threat at the ground and the players were asked to stay inside their hotel rooms.
New Zealand Cricket then announced that the tour was being called off and the players were put on a chartered plane the same day via Pakistan capital Islamabad and flown to Dubai.
“Everyone was sort of wondering what was up, and then we got told the news that we would be heading home. It was an interesting 24 hours post that decision, but obviously, New Zealand Cricket, the players’ association, everyone on the ground in Pakistan obviously had our players’ safety first and foremost. For them to act so swiftly and to get us out here to Dubai was outstanding. I know the guys were very thankful for that,” Latham further said.
Latham admitted that the whole team was looked well after in Pakistan by the home country authorities.
“While we were there after the decision, the Pakistan authorities were brilliant, they kept us safe, we were safe at the hotel, and we certainly thank them,” Latham signed off.
Troubles have just amplified for PCB as England has also called off its tour of men’s and women’s teams to Pakistan citing security threats in traveling to the region.