New Zealand cricket team head coach Gary Stead said that the cancellation of the Pakistan tour was not in their hands.
New Zealand were supposed to play Pakistan in three ODI matches and five T20 Internationals but on the ODI matchday on September 17, hours before the toss could take place, the Blackcaps pulled out of the entire white-ball series.
New Zealand’s decision left the players and fans disappointed as they were expecting cricket action in the country after a long time. White thanked their counterpart Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for taking care of the New Zealand cricket team.
“What I can say is that we were advised this was a specific and credible threat against the team. We had several conversations with New Zealand government officials before making the decision and it was after informing the PCB of our position that we understand a telephone discussion was conducted between the respective Prime Ministers,” New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White mentioned.
Playing in IPL is good preparation for our players: Gary Stead
Stead reiterated the board’s statement and said that some of the players of the T20 World Cup squad are preparing themselves in the IPL.
“That decision was out of our hands,” Stead was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz.
“…Guys are now in Dubai and getting ready, and there’s the IPL that they can have a good look at, which in many ways is good preparation for them as well,” he added.
It Is no different to any other match we play against Pakistan: Gary Stead
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja said that apart from arch-rivals India they want to defeat New Zealand and England after both the teams abandoned the tours to the Asian nation.
New Zealand and Pakistan are clubbed in Group 2 of the Super 12 and will play against each other on October 26 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Stead said that his team will take that match just like any other game.
“I think they’re okay. It was obviously unsettling and disappointing what happened in Pakistan and we certainly feel for the Pakistan cricket fraternity and fans,” Stead said.
“Certainly, being that it’s Pakistan, people will hype that up, but for us it’s no different to any other match we play against them,” he added.
According to a report by The New Zealand Herald, the threat issued by Five Eyes prompted phone the call between Pakistan and New Zealand Prime Ministers Imran Khan and Jacinda Ardern.