NZ Tour Canceled: Politics or Security Reasons?

New Zealand cricket has canceled the tour of Pakistan just before the start of the first game. They will no longer play the three-match ODI series and five matches T20i series. Many questions are raised after NZ Tour canceled on the 11th hour just before the toss

How did it all start?

Things started to look a little fishy when the toss was delayed and the teams didn’t reach the venue on time. Queues of fans were waiting outside for the doors to open and cricket to begin but sadly that didn’t happen. 

At first, everyone thought it might be a covid scare, and numerous news channels’ reported that 3 players of New Zealand had tested positive. However, later, speculations of security threats emerged to see the light of day. 

Unsettling News Surfaced Everywhere 

Reports of the current match being canceled were on the news but with time it became known that the whole tour has been canceled by New Zealand cricket apparently based on security threats.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan & the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern connected through a phone call. PM Imran khan assured of no such threat but the New Zealand Government thought it was safer to abandon the series. 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern released a statement in support of the New Zealand Cricket Board:

“When I spoke with the Prime Minister of Pakistan I conveyed our thanks for taking care of the New Zealand Cricket team,” Ardern said in a statement sent to Reuters.

“I know how disappointing it will be for everyone that the game hasn’t gone ahead, but we totally support the decision that’s been made. Player safety has to be paramount.”

Cricket Boards on Cancellation of Tour 

David White, CEO of New Zealand Cricket released a statement concerning the whole situation. He was satisfied with the security arrangements but still believed their decision was justified.

“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.”

Heath Mills, the CEO of the New Zealand cricket players association seemed to have the same thoughts as David White. 

“We’ve been across this process throughout and are fully supportive of the decision,” he said. The players are in good hands; they’re safe – and everyone’s acting in their best interests.”

Then, Pakistan Cricket Board also publicly announced the tour has indeed been canceled.

“Earlier today, New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series. Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured New Zealand Cricket of the same.”

“The security officials with the New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan Government throughout their stay here.PCB is willing to continue the scheduled matches. However, cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world will be disappointed by this last-minute withdrawal.”

18 Years of Wait Ended in Vein

It looks like everything was fine until today. New Zealand also had three practice sessions in Pakistan since they arrived. PCB also wanted the series to go on as planned. Moreover, they did their best to assure the guest team that there were no threats and if there had been, the intelligence agencies of Pakistan surely would have known. The confusing thing is that apparently the kiwis and their board did appear content with the security arrangements but suddenly started to back down. 

Security Threat or Politics?

What fans around the world still can’t seem to understand is the main reason behind this cancelation. Was there really a security threat or was there politics involved to stop cricket from being truly back in Pakistan? Looking at the circumstances, many think it’s the latter part. Because Pakistan wouldn’t at any cost risk the safety of their guests and New Zealand should have had faith in this claim.

What will be the Future Hold for Pakistan Cricket?

With this tour being canceled, fans are worried about the upcoming series that the country is set to host. The ODI World Cup champions are going to be the next guests. Let’s hope the series against them don’t see the same fate.

Leave a comment