Saturday Sep 18 2021
Web Desk

'Vent out your frustration' in performance, Ramiz Raja tells cricketers after NZ pull out

Web Desk

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja speaks during a video message released by the cricket board, on September 18, 2021. — Twitter/TheRealPCB
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja speaks during a video message released by the cricket board, on September 18, 2021. — Twitter/TheRealPCB

  • "I want us to move forward and not get disappointed," Ramiz Raja says.
  • "Pakistan's cricket has always moved forward because we are resilient."
  • New Zealand pulled out of their tour on the day of the first match citing a "security alert".

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja has advised the country's cricketers to put their "frustration" to good use and perform well after the New Zealand authorities' last-minute decision to end their tour due to a "security alert".

"Vent out your frustration in your performance," the PCB chairman said in a video message released by the cricket board, as he tried to boost the spirits of fans and cricketers alike after the debacle.

The PCB chairman said that this was the only solution to cope with the pull out, as when you become a world-class team, other countries will line-up to play in Pakistan.

"I want us to move forward and not get disappointed. The [cancellation] has piled up pressure on Pakistan's cricket and cricket at home, but we will try to do everything we can and give you some good news," he said.

The PCB chairman said he had recorded the message for his fans, terming their hurt "shared pain".

Raja said it was an unfortunate scenario, but it is not the first that such an incident has happened. "Pakistan's cricket has always moved forward because we are resilient — and it is the fans who enable us."

"The 'fight to survive' helps us challenge the world, and we will challenge the world again. If we cannot come out of the situation where international cricket comes under pressure, then we will try to make a world-class team through our domestic [set up]."

The PCB chairman urged fans to stand behind and support the Pakistan team ahead of the T20 World Cup.

The 33-member New Zealand cricket team arrived at the Islamabad airport and was to leave for Dubai via a chartered flight at 6pm today, according to a statement by Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed.

Tour cancelled

The New Zealand Cricket board had a day earlier backed out of the much-awaited tour, citing a “security alert” from their government. Pakistani authorities had assured the NZC of complete security but they insisted on abandoning the series.

The PCB, in a statement, said that the NZC told them that they had decided to postpone the series due to some security concern and it is their unilateral decision.

“The Pakistan Prime Minister spoke personally to the Prime Minister of New Zealand and informed her that we have one of the best intelligence systems in the world and that no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team,” the PCB said.

The PCB said security officials with the New Zealand team were satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan government throughout their stay here.

In a statement announcing the decision, NZC Chief Executive David White said it was simply not possible to continue with the tour given the advice he was receiving.

'Conspiracy against Pakistan'

Later in the day, the minister for interior termed the cancellation of the New Zealand tour a conspiracy against Pakistan.

Addressing a press conference, the minister, while declining to share names of those involved in this conspiracy, termed the tour cancellation as an attempt to damage Pakistan’s efforts for peace in the region.

He had said that in order to ensure foolproof security of the foreign team and matches, Pakistan had not only deployed 4,000 policemen but also commandos from Pakistan Army's Special Services Group (SSG) and Pak Army soldiers.

Rasheed had said: "We even tried to convince them to play the match without spectators however they were not willing to come.”

The minister said that the government's team also reached out to Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was in Dushanbe to participate in the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Heads of State Summit.

In a direct conversation, PM Imran Khan had assured New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of complete security to the Kiwis.

“The New Zealand prime minister said there was no issue of a threat and added that the New Zealand government had received intelligence that the team could be attacked when it steps out to go to the stadium," Sheikh said.

"It is their decision; we had deployed full security for their team,” he added.