Tue. May 30th, 2023

Pakistan is noticeably facing the possibility of being declared as the no-go area again, after New Zealand cancelled their first Pakistan tour in 18 years.

New Zealand cited security alert as the reason for aborting its plan.

PCB chief executive Wasim Khan called the move ‘pretty gut-wrenching’ in a virtual news conference on Sunday.

“The rug has been pulled out from beneath our feet,” exclaimed Khan as the cricket-mad nation’s bumper home season is nothing but disheartened after having don everything to project itself safe.

Cricket Australia is still monitoring the situation while English board is yet to make a decision. Cricket West Indies hasn’t responded to Reuter’s mail probing into their plans of touring Pakistan.

Taliban toppling Afghanistan has not just brought in crisis for the country but has also affected the immediate neighbor with a question mark against its safety.

“The abrupt departure of New Zealand has left many scars for us, and we just certainly hope that this is not going to have long-term consequences for us moving forward,” Khan was quoted as saying in a TOI report.

This comes after Sri Lanka team bus was attacked in Lahore in 2009, post which Pakistan’s ‘home’ matched were conducted in the UAE (United Arab Emirates). The matches were played without fan support, wherein PCB lost out on revenue.

Pakistan doesn’t plan on shifting home games offshore, reiterated Khan.

PCB officials understand that Pakistan will only be deemed a safe nation for the sport once teams like England and Australia tour.

Recently, touring teams were escorted with the kind of security reserved for visiting heads of state.

PCB is angry at New Zealand declining to share the exact nature of threat that made them pull the plug on the tour.

Khan said that this sets a dangerous precedent if countries can unilaterally abandon tours. He added that this affects relationships.

The PCB seeks an end to this ‘inequality’ within the governing body of International Cricket Council (ICC).

Players are frightened by the possibility of having to play their ‘home’ games off shore, yet Khan said PCB wouldn’t go down without a fight.

“It’s taken us a long time to return. We are adamant that we remain safe but of course we’ve also got to have contingency and backups,” Khan was quoted as saying in a TOI report.

(With inputs from TOI)

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