‘PM Jacinda Ardern had genuine information that NZ team may face attack in Pak’: Report – Republic World

Posted: September 24, 2021 at 10:30 am

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was humiliated once again on Friday when New Zealand Cricket (NZC) opted to cancel their bilateral series against the country owing to security concerns. This occurred minutes before the first ODI match in Rawalpindi was scheduled to begin. The PCB later issued a statement claiming that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had spoken to his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern, but she declined to heed his appeal, citing the same security concerns raised by her government and NZC security on the ground in Pakistan.

Pakistan's Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has revealed the conversation between their Prime Minister and Jacinda Ardern. According to the New Zealand Herald, Prime Minister Imran Khan assured Ardern of security arrangements in Rawalpindi, even guaranteeing that there would be no security issues. Ardern, on the other hand, refused to accept Imran Khan's request, claiming that the problem isn't the threat but that they have genuine information that their team may come under an attack if they leave the hotel. Ahmed claimed that NZC security informed the local authorities about the alleged threat on Friday, and when they were enquired further to reveal more details, they "did not have any".

A three-match ODI series followed by five T20Is was scheduled between New Zealand and Pakistan. This was the first visit to Pakistan by a New Zealand cricket squad in almost 18 years. The last time the Kiwis visited Pakistan was for a bilateral Test series in 2003, but the tour was cut short due to a blast outside the New Zealand team hotel. The visiting Sri Lanka squad was targeted by terrorists on their way to the ground for a match in 2009, dealing a significant blow to Pakistan cricket, following which international cricket in the country stopped for years as teams ceased to visit due to security concerns.

International cricket had just begun to return to Pakistan, but the current turbulence in the region following the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan has renewed fears about Pakistan's ability to conduct events in the country safely. Following New Zealand Cricket's decision to cancel its bilateral series with Pakistan, England and Australia are likely to cancel theirs as well.

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'PM Jacinda Ardern had genuine information that NZ team may face attack in Pak': Report - Republic World

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