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Updated on: Friday, September 17, 2021, 05:24 PM IST

'New Zealand just killed Pakistan cricket': Shoaib Akhtar, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez react after Blackcaps abandon tour citing security threat

New Zealand was slated to play their first match on Pakistan soil since 2003.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam (L) and his counterpart New Zealand Tom Latham arrive during a ceremony at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on September 16, 2021, a day before their first one-day international (ODI) cricket match.  | (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP)

Pakistan captain Babar Azam (L) and his counterpart New Zealand Tom Latham arrive during a ceremony at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on September 16, 2021, a day before their first one-day international (ODI) cricket match. | (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP)

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Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was on Friday furious after New Zealand abandoned its ongoing tour of Pakistan before the start of the first ODI at the Rawalpindi stadium, citing a security threat.

"NZ just killed Pakistan cricket," tweeted the Rawalpindi Express.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam, meanwhile, expressed disappointment. "Extremely disappointed on the abrupt postponement of the series, which could have brought the smiles back for millions of Pakistan Cricket Fans. I've full trust in the capabilities and credibility of our security agencies. They are our pride and always will be!" he tweeted.

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Mohammad Hafeez stated that New Zealand Cricket postponing their tour of Pakistan is sad news for the whole nation. "Pakistan is Safe & Proud nation. Postponing series is absolutely Sad news for whole Nation," tweeted Hafeez.

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Trouble began when the first ODI of the white ball series could not begin on time with both teams remaining in their hotel rooms. New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White eventually issued a statement to say that it was simply not possible to continue with the tour given the advice he was receiving from his government.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern before Blackcaps announced they are abandoning their tour. Imran Khan assured Ardern that Pakistan has one of the best intelligence systems in the world and that no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team but New Zealand Cricket (NZC) still decided to return home after the NZ government security alert, PCB in a statement said.

"PCB is willing to continue the scheduled matches. However, cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world will be disappointed by this last minute withdrawal, it added.

New Zealand was slated to play their first match on Pakistan soil since 2003. The side was to play hosts on Friday in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi, before moving to Lahore for a five-match T20 series.

(With input from agencies)

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Published on: Friday, September 17, 2021, 05:24 PM IST
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