Pakistan’s latest PR attempt to showcase its soft image while continuing to promote terrorists has miserably failed. New Zealand has dealt a huge blow to the Pakistan cricket board’s hope of reviving their cricket at home.
New Zealand calls off series
The New Zealand cricket team was scheduled to play 3 One-day internationals and 5 T20s internationals in September and October of 2021. One-day internationals were planned to be held in Rawalpindi, while T20s were to be held in Lahore. Moments before the start of the first one-day match in Rawalpindi, the New Zealand team decided to call off the series. The decision was made after New Zealand Cricket received intelligence from their government about security threats. Pakistan cricket board expressed disappointment over the development.
Crazy day it has been! Feel so sorry for the fans and our players. Walking out of the tour by taking a unilateral approach on a security threat is very frustrating. Especially when it’s not shared!! Which world is NZ living in??NZ will hear us at ICC.
— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) September 17, 2021
A statement released by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said-“Following an escalation in the New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan, and advice from NZC security advisors on the ground, it has been decided the Blackcaps will not continue with the tour.” New Zealand Prime minister Jacinda Ardern lent her support to the New Zealand cricket team. She said-“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.”
ECB set to cancel the tour
With the cancelling of the tour by the New Zealand cricket team, it is now almost certain that no international player or team would want to visit Pakistan in the future. English cricket team, which was next-in-line to visit Pakistan is also rethinking its decision. English cricket board (ECB) spokesperson said in a statement-“We’re aware of New Zealand’s decision to pull out of the Pakistan tour due to a security alert. We are liaising with our security team who are on the ground in Pakistan to fully understand the situation. The ECB Board will then decide in the next 24-48 hours whether our planned tour should proceed.”
Since ECB and NZC are assisted by the same security consultant Reg Dickason, it is highly unlikely that ECB will put the life of English players in jeopardy.
Human lives to be prioritized over cricket
After the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore during their 2009 tour, Pakistan did not witness any team visiting its shore until 2015. As a host, Pakistan has been playing its international matches in the United Arab Emirates. Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh, South Africa, and an ICC World XI team did tour Pakistan for small series’ after 2015, but they could not inspire confidence about the security of the players.
Pakistan has been one of the most active sponsors of terrorist groups around the world. Their active role in spreading terrorism in Kashmir has witnessed them getting engulfed by the same menace.
Earlier, it used to at least hide its support for terrorist groups. But, now after the USA decided to leave Afghanistan, Pakistan has been openly and brazenly supporting the Taliban, the Haqqani network, and other terrorist groups. While it continues supporting terrorists outside its territory, its domestic terrorist groups such as Tehrik-i-Taliban, LeT, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, etc have been wreaking havoc inside Pakistan itself.