New Zealand cricket chief open to discussion on restaging of abandoned Pakistan series

Published September 20, 2021
New Zealand Black Caps cricket team practices in Pakistan in this undated handout image taken from video. — Reuters
New Zealand Black Caps cricket team practices in Pakistan in this undated handout image taken from video. — Reuters

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) Chief Executive David White on Monday expressed willingness to discuss the restaging of the Pakistan series the Black Caps abandoned last week, but said talks of touring the country again were premature considering the team's schedule was already “pretty tight”.

The Black Caps devastated Pakistan's cricket fraternity on September 17 after opting out of their tour of Pakistan minutes before the first ODI was to be played. They had cited a 'security threat' as the reason without divulging any further.

In a new report, New Zealand media website Stuff quoted White as saying: "We’ve got a very close working relationship with Pakistan Cricket. We’d like to think that over the next few days, weeks and months that we’ll work through this to ensure that we play the content that we’ve missed out on and we continue our close working relationship.”

“As we know they’re a very passionate cricketing nation and they’re obviously disappointed. We understand their disappointment,” he added.

According to the report, the NZC chief was hopeful the matches would be rescheduled but was not sure about when as the Future Tours Programme was already “pretty tight”.

Regarding compensating the PCB for lost revenue, White said the issue would be discussed in due course. He hoped that the decision to abandon the tour would not be held against NZC when the time came for Pakistan to tour New Zealand.

He also said that it was too soon to comment on the prospect of the Black Caps touring Pakistan again anytime soon.

"I think what’s important to point out is that for every tour we go on, whether it’s Pakistan or England or anywhere, that we go through a very thorough process covering security etc. This was no exception. In fact, it was probably more in this case.

"I can’t answer that question at the moment, it’s too early. But we’ll assess every tour on its merits," he said.

NZC cancels tour

On Friday, the New Zealand team had unilaterally postponed the series with Pakistan minutes before the first match was scheduled to start at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium — a move that had shocked fans and officials.

According to the PCB, Pakistan had "foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams" and had "assured NZC of the same".

Read: 'Extremely disappointed': Anger and dismay as New Zealand abandons Pakistan tour at the last minute

The PCB said that the New Zealand team had been satisfied with the security arrangements throughout their stay, adding that cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world were "disappointed" by the last-minute withdrawal.

The New Zealand cricket team had arrived in Pakistan on September 11 for the first time in 18 years to play three ODIs and five Twenty20 Internationals.

The ODI series against New Zealand was supposed to be played at the Rawalpindi Stadium, with matches scheduled for Sept 17, 19, and 21, while the Gaddafi Stadium was slated to host five T20s from Sept 25 to Oct 3.

In a statement on Sunday, White said that he had "no option" but abandon the tour of Pakistan after receiving advice from the New Zealand government of a "specific, credible threat".

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