There was no way we could stay in Pakistan after the advice we received: New Zealand Cricket CEO

David White said something with regards to security was not correct at Rawalpindi in Pakistan.

David White
New Zealand Cricket CEO David White. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

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New Zealand’s last-minute decision to call off their limited-overs series in Pakistan has not gone too well with the host team. The tour was about to commence in Rawalpindi on Friday ( 17 September), but instead, the fans, officials, and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had to see the Blackcaps abandoning the tour due to security concerns.

The 34-member contingent, which included 21 players and support staff have reached Dubai and are undergoing a mandatory 24-hour quarantine in the hotel they are staying. After the COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, the 21 players will return to New Zealand over the next week “as flights and their respective arrangements for quarantine and isolation rooms become available,” said New Zealand Cricket in a statement.

The remaining support staff members will be staying in the UAE and join with the 15-member T20 squad selected for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, ahead of the scheduled October 17 start.

David White New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief was asked about the team’s sudden change of heart in not playing the scheduled eight white-ball games. White said, in a statement, “everything changed” drastically in an instant on Friday, the day when the first of three ODIs was set to be played.

White further opined that the players’ safety was by large their only concern. The NZC’s designated security consultants, who were at the ground were quick to make arrangements for people’s movement from the ground.

“We appreciate this has been a terribly difficult time for the PCB and wish to pass on our sincere thanks to chief executive Wasim Khan and his team for their professionalism and care,” White noted.

Specific details of why the tour was abandoned cannot be shared with the public: David White

White said that the exact details and reasons of why the team canceled the tour won’t be shared publicly and we just followed the advice received from the higher authorities.

“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.

“Unfortunately, given the advice we’d received, there was no way we could stay in the country.”

White concluded by saying that everything went wrong on Friday and the threat levels too changed. “Everything changed on Friday,” White noted. “The advice changed, the threat level changed and, as a consequence, we took the only responsible course of action possible.”