'It's time to come together and support our team' - Former Pakistan captains react to New Zealand and England cancelling tours

‘It’s time to come together and support our team’ – Former Pakistan captains react to New Zealand and England cancelling tours

Rashid Latif felt PCB should approach New Zealand and England again to tour Pakistan.

Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram. (Photo Source: Instagram)

The cricketing fraternity is still talking about the last minute cancellation of the Pakistan tour from New Zealand. The Kiwis abandoned the whole tour minutes before the first ODI and returned home citing credible threat information from the New Zealand government. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was understandably furious with NZC as they didn’t even share the threat with them and unilaterally called off the tour.

Both England’s Men’s and Women’s team was supposed to tour Pakistan in October. For the Men’s team it was deemed as warm-up games of two T20 matches, the Women’s team was also supposed to further stay for the ODI series. However, ECB also withdrew its teams from the tour while stating, ‘it is not safe to travel to that region.’

The outrage among the entire cricket fraternity increased even more then as ECB didn’t clearly state that threat as their reason to not travel. They cited bubble fatigue and also mentioned it wasn’t ideal from players’ perspective to travel to Pakistan with the T20 World Cup set to be played.

It was Pakistan who toured England in 2020 when COVID-19 was at its peak in the country and saved their cricketing summer. They were expected to reciprocate with this tour but England withdrawing as drawn different reactions. Former Pakistan captains Moin Khan, Wasim Akram and Rashid Latif have now reacted to the matter and have asked the nation to come together in these tough times for Pakistan cricket.

Pakistan is a safe country to tour, says Rashid Latif.

Among the three, it was Moin Khan first who felt disappointed with NZC and ECB for deciding against playing Pakistan at home. “It is a very disappointing decision from ECB and NZC. Now I think Pakistan will also have to start initiate things on reciprocal basis. The whole world is criticising New Zealand and England for their decision,” he said in a video posted on PCB’s official Youtube channel.

Wasim Akram, however, felt that it is the time for the nation to come together and support Pakistan in the T20 World Cup. He felt if the Men in Green play their best cricket, then the other teams will definitely come behind to play against them. “I know, you all are disappointed. I am also disappointed and sad. But life has to go on. Support Pakistan team in the T20 World Cup.

“We will criticise them but afterwards and with solutions. But right now, it is the need of the hour to come together as a nation and support our team. Fine if teams are not touring, but if Pakistan does well, then the whole world will be behind to play against them,” Akram said. In the end, it was Rashid Latif who felt PCB should approach NZC and ECB again as the relations between the two boards are really good.

“Only 7-8 teams in the world who play international cricket really well. What I feel is PCB should approach New Zealand again. I think PCB’s relations with NZC and ECB are really good and you never know, when the situation will change for good. New Zealand and England both should tour Pakistan. It is a safe country,” he said.