October 23, 2021
  • October 23, 2021

World Cup showdown looms after Pakistan tour canceled

By on September 18, 2021 0

Former Pakistani players have urged the current squad to “express their frustration and anger” at the upcoming T20 World Cup after New Zealand withdraws from its tour of the Asian country due to security concerns.

PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja said New Zealand’s abrupt withdrawal from his tour, which he described as a “unilateral” move, has put an unwelcome question mark over Pakistan’s ability to host tourists. international matches.

A 33-member Black Caps team left Pakistan on Saturday after leaving the tour minutes before the start of the first day-long international match in Rawalpindi on Friday.

Pakistan are set to face New Zealand in a World Cup group match on October 26, two days after facing their Indian rivals in their tournament opener.

Former fast pitcher Shoaib Akhtar said Pakistani players should use the game to “answer them with full force”.

Raja added that the best way for players to respond to development is to perform well on the pitch.

“I want to say to my cricket team: vent your frustration and anger by playing well (at the World Cup),” Raja said. “When you become the best team, everyone will want to play against you.

“We need to learn from it and move on, we don’t need to be disappointed.”

New Zealand’s withdrawal has cast doubt on England’s short tour of Pakistan in October for a two-match Twenty20 series ahead of the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

The England Cricket Board has said it will make a decision on the Pakistan tour this weekend. England’s men’s and women’s teams are scheduled to tour Pakistan next month.

Australia are set to tour Pakistan in February-March 2022, marking their first visit since Mark Taylor’s remarkable undefeated 334 on tour in 1998.

Productive discussions have taken place between Cricket Australia (CA), whose former general manager Kevin Roberts visited Pakistan in 2019, and PCB.

An AC spokesperson said on Saturday that the organization was monitoring the situation and “will speak with the relevant authorities once more information is known”.

Australia played the Tests against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in 2002, 2014 and 2018 // Getty

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) did not disclose the specific nature of its own government’s security alert that prompted the decision to cancel the tour, in which the Kiwis were to play three ODIs at Rawalpindi and five Twenty20s in Lahore.

A Pakistani government minister said New Zealand feared an attack outside the Rawalpindi stadium.

Raja said he was disappointed New Zealand did not share details of the security threat with the PCB or the Pakistani government. He plans to raise the issue with the International Cricket Council.

An NZC statement on Sunday said: “While the general tenor of the threat was immediately shared with the PCB, (NZC CEO David) White reiterated that specific details could not and will not be disclosed – in private or in public “.

“What I can say is that we have been made aware that this is a specific and credible threat against the team,” White said.

“We had several conversations with representatives of the New Zealand government before making the decision and it was after informing the PCB of our position that we understand that a telephone discussion took place between the respective Prime Ministers.

“Unfortunately, given the advice we had received, we could not stay in the country.

“Everything changed on Friday. The advice changed, the threat level changed and as a result we took the only responsible action possible.

“We are aware that this has been a terribly difficult time for the PCB and wish to convey our sincere thanks to General Manager Wasim Khan and his team for their professionalism and attention.”

Raja, who was elected PCB chairman last Monday, also expressed frustration that New Zealand withdrew despite a five-day stay in the federal capital and two training sessions at the Pindi cricket stadium.

“There is a lot of pressure created on Pakistani cricket and (especially) Pakistani cricket at home,” he said.

“The struggle to survive is the basis on which we challenge the whole world. If such a situation develops (again) while international cricket is under pressure in Pakistan, we will challenge them again.”

Raja, a famous cricketer commentator known in the cricket fraternity as the “Voice of Pakistan” called on fans across the country to help the team out of this crisis.

“Your pain and my pain are the same, it is a shared pain,” he said. “What has happened is not good for Pakistani cricket … The point is we have been through this before, but we have to move forward.”

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