Tuesday Sep 21, 2021
The women teams of both England and New Zealand will play their scheduled third ODI at Leicester despite a security threat, which was held to be "not credible" by the New Zealand Cricket.
A member of the New Zealand Cricket management was contacted and informed that a bomb would be placed at the team's hotel in England, stated a report by ESPNCricinfo.
"It is understood they were also warned of an attempt to place a bomb on their plane when they return to New Zealand," reads the report.
The team went into lockdown Monday as a precautionary measure, while police and counter-terrorism agencies were summoned. For a while, it seemed as if the match would be called off as the White Ferns did not train at the Grace Road venue.
However, a NZC member clarified that as per the schedule, the Kiwi women's team were not supposed to train on Monday.
"As has been reported, the ECB have received a threatening email relating to NZC. Although this did not specifically reference the White Ferns it was treated seriously, investigated, and deemed not credible," said the NZC spokesperson.
"The White Ferns have now arrived in Leicester and, as a precaution, security around them has been boosted. Reports their training has been cancelled are false. They were not scheduled to train today as it was a travelling day. NZC will not be commenting further on the matter," he added.
The development is likely to trigger anger in Pakistan and raise a few eyebrows, as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will definitely be asking why the security threat in England was deemed not credible while the one in Pakistan was.
The British High Commission and the security consultants (ESI Risk) used by the ECB and NZC had both expressed satisfaction at the security protocols set in place for both teams.
The revival of international cricket in Pakistan suffered a massive setback over the past couple of days, triggered by New Zealand's decision to abandon their tour to Pakistan a few minutes before the toss for the first match at Rawalpindi was to take place last week.
The New Zealand cricket authorities cited a high-level "security alert", adding that the board was left with no choice but to suspend the series and ensure the return of the team without playing a single match.
As expected, England followed suit, announcing that they were reluctantly withdrawing from the Pakistan series.
In a statement, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said, "We understand that this decision will be a significant disappointment to the PCB."
The ECB, however, said the "mental and physical well-being" of its players and support staff remains their highest priority, and this was even more critical given the times "we are currently living in".
England's men and women teams were due to play two Twenty20s in Rawalpindi on October 13 and 14. The women's team are also due to play three ODIs in Pakistan on October 17, 19, and 21.
The Pakistani authorities and cricket fans have lashed out at the cancellation of tours putting the country's credibility at risk.