LAHORE: New Zealand’s abrupt decision to withdraw from its cricket tour of Pakistan has created “an unfortunate scenario”, but the hosts know how to overcome those crisis, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja said on Saturday. New Zealand pulled out of the tour on opening match day on Friday citing a government security alert, while England is also reconsidering its men’s and women’s team visits to Pakistan next month. The tour was supposed to start with the first of three days in Rawalpindi, but New Zealand did not travel to the stadium. “It’s an unfortunate scenario,” Ramiz said in a video posted on the board’s Twitter account.
“But we have faced similar situations in the past and we have always overcome them. We have tremendous resistance … it is a setback for organizing international cricket in Pakistan, but we will also overcome this crisis.” Several Pakistan players took to Twitter to express their anger and frustration over New Zealand’s decision. Ramiz advised them to channel it to improve their performance. “My message to the team is: Vent your anger and frustration through your performance on the field. “If you become the best team in the world, others will line up here to play with you in Pakistan.”
New Zealand returned home on a chartered flight through the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after the shocked end of their first tour of Pakistan in 18 years. The best teams have largely avoided Pakistan in the wake of an attack by Islamist militants on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009 that killed six policemen and two civilians, and it is feared that New Zealand’s decision to leave keep them away. England is already reconsidering its limited trip to Pakistan next month, while Australia, which is scheduled to visit in February-March next year, also appears cautious. A Cricket Australia spokesperson said the organization was monitoring the situation and would “speak to the relevant authorities once more information is known.” “New Zealand just killed cricket in Pakistan,” tweeted former Test bowler Shoaib Akhtar. Rhythm bowler Mohammad Amir also criticized New Zealand in a tweet for leaving the tour: “Hello New Zealand, maybe as a Pakistani we will forgive you because we are a loving nation, but this act will bite you in the future.”