Only a few hours before the first ODI, New Zealand Cricket decided to call off the white-ball series against Pakistan. The Black Caps called off the tour due to security concerns. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) responded by denying the existence of any such threats and assuring guests of their safety. New Zealand’s stand-in captain for the series, Tom Latham, has spoken out against the situation.
He was clear and precise about what he said. The Kiwi skipper did not deflect from the issue at hand and opened up about the details. This is something that the live cricket fans were keen to know about.
What Tom Latham told ESPNcricinfo in a recent interview?
The Pakistan cricket community and fans blasted New Zealand when the tourists unexpectedly cancelled the tour. Latham also stated that the team’s choice was extremely frustrating to Pakistani fans. He stated that it was a historic occasion for New Zealand to travel Pakistan after an 18-year absence, and that the team was kept secure by Pakistani officials.
“It is reasonable for Pakistan and its fans to be disappointed. They were rather pleased with themselves. I recall doing the captain’s round the day before with Babar [Azam] and seeing how thrilled he was to have international cricket and to have us there. He was ecstatic, and it was a historic occasion for New Zealand Cricket to return to the country 18 years after their last visit.”
“To be part of that was going to be something special, but obviously things changed. NZC acted swiftly along with the people on the ground in Pakistan. While we were there after the decision, the Pakistan authorities were brilliant. They kept us safe at the hotel and we certainly need to thank them.”
NZ Cricket clearly prioritised the safety of its players: Tom Latham.
Tom Latham is now in Dubai, where he spoke with New Zealand’s in-house media channel on the situation. He went into great detail about the sequence of events. Latham went on to say that player safety was a top priority for New Zealand cricket.
“It was just like any other game day. We were scheduled to leave at 12:30 p.m., but I received a message on my WhatsApp group saying we would be holding a team meeting at 12 p.m. Everyone was unsure what was going on until we were informed that we were returning home.”
“It was an intriguing 24 hours following that decision, but certainly NZC and the Players Association, as well as everyone on the ground in Pakistan and NZ Cricket, prioritised the safety of the players. The fact that they were able to get us to Dubai in less than 24 hours was incredible, and the men were really grateful.”
Following New Zealand’s declaration, the ECB announced its withdrawal from the men’s and women’s tour in October. Both teams were scheduled to play T20I doubleheaders against Pakistan, with the women’s squad staying in the country for the ODI series.
Cricket suffers due to the cancelled trip; was the decision justified though?
The decision has been made and the trip has been cancelled. However, it has a negative impact on cricket, especially in Pakistan. The fans will not be happy that they will not get to see the teams play each other. Global cricket fans, who admire good cricket, are at a loss here and this is due to the negligence of the boards.
Things should have been sorted out in advance and decisions should have been made. Cancelling tours is never good for any country and the game in that nation. With that being said, this is not just a cricketing issue now and more to do with politics as well. It seems that teams and players are not too keen to play in Pakistan.
That is an issue that has been talked about for quite some time. Now, it has once again been openly addressed and the ICC may have to decide how to go about things for the future. Already, some warning shots have been fired. Let’s wait and watch how things develop and grow from here on. Will these issues with regards to cricket in Pakistan be resolved any time soon?