Friday Sep 17 2021
Web Desk

Pak vs NZ: Pakistani cricketers react to series cancellation

Web Desk
(Top L to R) Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez (bottom L to R) former captain Shahid Afridi and pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi. — AFP/Twitter/File
(Top L to R) Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez (bottom L to R) former captain Shahid Afridi and pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi. — AFP/Twitter/File

The New Zealand cricket team has cancelled its tour of Pakistan after informing the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) of a "security alert", a statement confirmed on Friday.

"Earlier today, New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series," reads the press release.

The announcement to cancel the series shocked the fans and cricketers alike, as Pakistan was all set to host New Zealand for three ODIs and five T20Is after an 18-year hiatus.

Taking to Twitter, Babar Azam expressed his disappointment over the Black Caps' decision to withdraw from the series at the last minute.

"Extremely disappointed on the abrupt postponement of the series, which could have brought the smiles back for millions of Pakistan cricket fans," the skipper wrote on Twitter, moments after the series was cancelled.

"I've full trust in the capabilities and credibility of our security agencies. They are our pride and always will be! Pakistan Zindabad!" the skipper added.

Pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi said he was lost for words after the news of the postponement broke out, as he highlighted that Pakistan had the "best security force in the world".

"Wish I had words to describe my disappointment. We not only have the best security force in the world but many foreign teams have successfully and peacefully completed their cricket tours in Pakistan," the pacer said.

"Can feel for the cricket lovers in Pakistan & around the world," he added.

Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez said Pakistan was safe and a proud nation. "Postponing series is absolutely sad news for [the] whole nation."

Batsman Shan Masood lamented that despite Pakistan's monumental efforts to get international cricket back in the country and today's event might send it years behind.

"Pakistan has made monumental efforts to get international cricket back on track. We’ve lost a lot with no international cricket for 6 years in the past and today might set us back again," he said.

"The pulling out and the abrupt timing of the decision is extremely disappointing," Masood added.

Fast bowler Junaid Khan said it was "heartbreaking news", as he lamented that New Zealand should have used another reason for cancelling the tour.

"Security isn't a reason because Pakistan has one of the best Security base[s] in the world," the pacer added.

All-rounder Shadab Khan said the Pakistan Super League and other teams visiting Pakistan were evidence of the county's hospitality and security arrangements.

"This is heartbreaking. Pakistanis love cricket so much, we have worked really hard to bring cricket back here," the all-rounder.

"PSL & other teams visiting Pakistan is evidence of our hospitality & security arrangements. We will continue our efforts," Khan added.

Fast bowler Anwar Ali said Pakistan has the "best security" the country faces "no security issues".

"Heartbreaking This is not Fair Seriously you guys are having World Best Security and no Security Issues here in Pakistan this will a bit Harsh from your Side," he said.

Fast bowler Haris Rauf said a wrong precedent had been set and it was not a good omen for the cricketing fraternity, as the county's security and intelligence agencies were capable to assess any kind of threat.

All-rounder Hasan Ali told the entire world that Pakistan was a safe country, as he assured the fans that the sad feelings would be turned into happy ones.

Meanwhile, cricketing legend Shahid Afridi lashed out at the New Zealand cricket team for their decision.

@On a "HOAX threat you have called off the tour despite all assurances!! @BLACKCAPS do you understand the IMPACT of your decision?" Afridi asked.