Wednesday Sep 22, 2021
The New Zealand team, after its government cited "security concerns", pulled out of its tour of Pakistan last Friday, just moments before the first ODI match began.
While the team was in the country, it was provided the same level of security which was arranged for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Catherine (Kate) Elizabeth Middleton, when they toured Pakistan in October 2019.
The team's pull out invited widespread criticism from not only the Pakistan Cricket Board and several cricketers, but also government ministers, among whom was Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed.
The minister went so far as to remark that the army of New Zealand is not as large as the security the country's cricket team was provided by Pakistan.
He 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.
This has generated curiosity as to how large the New Zealand army really is.
According to the official website of the the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), the Regular Force as well as the Reserve Forces total 12,424 soldiers.
Of the regular soldiers, 4,848 belong to the Army, 2,541 to the Air Force and 2,334 to the Navy, totalling 9,723.
The reserve soldiers amount to 2,701, of which 1,864 are in the Army, 302 are in the Air Force and 535 in the Navy.