Saturday Sep 18, 2021
Pakistan-based Australian social worker Shaniera Akram on Saturday responded to the New Zealand cricket team's last-minute cancellation of their tour for which they cited "security" concerns.
"There is no place in the world I feel more safe than in Pakistan," the wife of former cricketer Wasim Akram, said in a tweet, a day after New Zealand's authorities decided to pull out their cricket team.
The Black Caps called off their first Pakistan series in 18 years with Wellington's backing on Friday just before the first one-day international was due to start in Rawalpindi.
The newly elected chairman of the PCB Ramiz Raja admitted Saturday that Pakistani cricket was facing "a lot of pressure", though not for the first time — and that the nation was resilient.
"Your pain and my pain is the same, it's a shared pain. Whatever happened was not good for Pakistan cricket," he said.
Former players say keeping international cricket in Pakistan is the key priority.
"All cricketers are with the PCB and we have to find ways to avoid further isolation, for the sake of our next generations," former captain Rashid Latif told AFP.
Ex-player Naushad Ali said his country needs to restore the confidence of the cricketing world.
"Pakistan will have to prove that New Zealand's decision was wrong and I think only that will earn them sympathy," said Ali.
"We should not give up our hosting rights and should lobby with other countries."
But former captain Shahid Afridi believes they have sacrificed a lot over the years and deserve "a better deal".
"We have done more than enough for them," he said.
"We toured England and New Zealand (last year) despite fears of pandemic and we want them to reciprocate."
Meanwhile, several foreign cricketers including West Indies cricketer Daren Sammy, Sri Lanka's Angelo Perera, and WI's Sherfane Rutherford also voiced support for Pakistan after New Zealand's pull out.