'Bit of nerves but they're there to protect us' - New Zealand satisfied with security arrangements for Pakistan series

‘Bit of nerves but they’re there to protect us’ – New Zealand satisfied with security arrangements for Pakistan series

Pakistan-New Zealand series gets underway on September 17 in Rawalpindi.

New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Martin Guptill is satisfied with the security arrangements made for the team in Pakistan, where New Zealand is set to play three ODIs and five T20Is starting September 17. Notably, New Zealand are on a Pakistan tour after 18 years.

“We had a dozen or so police cars behind us, and armed soldiers around us at all times, and a lot of cars in the motorcade. We felt as though we were extremely safe,” Guptill said at a Zoom press conference on Monday.

“There is a little bit of nerves but they’re there to protect us,” he said, adding the team were excited to get on the field.

Ravaged by terrorism, international cricket in Pakistan has been in a slump ever since the infamous Lahore bus attack on a touring Sri Lanka team in 2009. Although, the situation has improved in the recent past, with PCB managing to gradually revive cricketing action in the nation.

The players are really excited to be in Pakistan: Glenn Pocknall

New Zealand interim coach Glenn Pocknall, meanwhile, said that the team is eager to take the upcoming challenge and that all the players are excited to play against a competitive Pakistan team.

“I think we are now used to (the security) in some way, coming from Bangladesh where we had convoys for two weeks. So, it’s just an extension to what we had over there,” he said.

“The players are really excited to be here, it’s been a long time coming so they are all grateful to have this opportunity… and to have a crack at this very good Pakistan team,” he said at a Zoom press conference.

New Zealand took a 2-3 beating in an away series against Bangladesh recently and would be keen to make amends keeping in mind the approaching T20 World Cup 2021, which gets underway from October 17 in UAE and Oman.

For this series, New Zealand has a host of first-choice players – Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Seifert, James Neesham, Trent Boult, Adam Milne, Mitchell Santner, and Lockie Ferguson – missing from their ranks due to the second leg of the Indian Premier League.

The ODIs will be played on September 17, 19 and 21 in Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, followed by five T20Is on September 25, 26, 29, and October 1 and 3 at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.