NZ Cricket chief refuses to share details of 'security alert'

September 19, 2021

David White says 'unfortunate' that the Pak vs NZ series was abandoned at the last minute

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New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White. Photo/ File

WELLINGTON: New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White refused to share details and specifics of the "security threat" that the New Zealand government said it had received Friday before the first ODI at Rawlpindi.

New Zealand made headlines around the world when the cricket team called off its ODI and T20 series minutes before the toss for the first ODI between the two sides was scheduled to take place in Rawalpindi.

Talking to media persons, David White admitted that the board was initially satisfied with security arrangements in Pakistan which is why they sent their team to the country.

New Zealand had arrived in Pakistan after 18 years to play a cricket series.

He said, "The advice changed, the threat level changed and, as a consequence, we took the only responsible course of action possible."

However, White said that "everything changed" on Friday.

White said that it was unfortunate that the series was abandoned at the last minute, adding that there was no way that it could be held after the intelligence of a potential attack was received.

"What I can say is that we were advised this was a specific and credible threat against the team," White said.

White said some information had been shared with the Pakistan Cricket Board, however, "specific details could not, and will not, be disclosed - privately or publicly", New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said.

"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," he added.

He acknowledged that it was a "terribly difficult time" for Pakistan cricket but reiterated that New Zealand had no other option.

Kiwis arrive in UAE

The New Zealand cricket team arrived in Dubai early Sunday after fleeing Pakistan but officials refused to give details of the security threat that forced them to abruptly cancel their tour.

"The BLACKCAPS have arrived in Dubai after leaving Islamabad on a charter flight last night," New Zealand Cricket said in a statement.

"The contingent of 34 players and support staff are now settling into their Dubai hotel and undergoing their 24-hour period of self-isolation."

‘Which world is NZ living in?’

As expected, the news of New Zealand abandoning the Pakistan tour at the last minute did not go down well with PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja.

Describing it a "crazy" day, Raja said he felt sorry for Pakistani fans and players.

"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," he had tweeted.

‘We are liaising with our security team,’ says ECB

Shortly after New Zealand pulled out of the Pakistan cricket series, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had said Friday it would determine in the next 24-48 hours whether it will proceed with the tour or not.

England's men and women teams are due to play two T20s in Rawalpindi on October 13 and 14. The women's team are also due to play three ODIs in Pakistan on October 17, 19 and 21.

"We're aware of New Zealand's decision to pull out of the Pakistan tour due to a security alert," an ECB spokesperson had said.

"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."

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