AFTER waiting for 18 long years, the people of Pakistan were confident that they had managed to bring international cricket back home, and there was talk of more teams coming in the months ahead. But all such hopes were dashed by the single and abrupt decision taken by New Zealand. Why, oh why!
This decision is going to have a huge negative impact on Pakistan, and will be particularly bad for Pakistan cricket. Countries that were planning to tour Pakistan will now have a rethink. New Zealand authorities did what they thought suited them, but everyone knows what the New Zealanders would have done if the country was any other than Pakistan; say, England, Australia, South Africa, even the West Indies.
Players and their respective boards never had any security concern when it came to playing in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and the Kashmir Premier League (KPL). It was an endorsement in itself of Pakistan’s status as a safe cricketing destination. New Zealand should have discussed this issue with the relevant Pakistani officials rather than just going ahead and calling everything off without sharing anything with anybody.
Pakistan is a nation that knows how to bounce back from such unexpected shocks. The world should not expect anything short of that from us this time round either.
Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2021