It was a series that from the perspective of both sides, especially with the T20 World Cup fast approaching, very valuable. It’s painful and strange in equal measure that what one thought would have been reported about in the next few days, at length, And that’s not obviously from the perspective of hosts Pakistan, who were, without a speck of doubt, so keen to host New Zealand.
That’s not only from the point of view that the two sides hardly get to play a bi-lateral series with the same frequency with which, let’s say, one gets to see India play England, India play West Indies and Bangladesh play any other unit at regular intervals of time.
If terrorism and the (obvious direct) threat it imposes on cricketers was the first and only concern, however biased something so non-negotiable may sound to some, then the first and foremost thing to do is to ask a basic question to a cricket team called South Africa.
Does anyone remember that South Africa toured Pakistan not too long ago in 2021. Does anyone recollect any terrorist threat or direct-to-life attack waged at any Proteas cricketer whilst he was in Pakistan? This was February of this year.
So the key question is- what about Pakistan, at the very last minute, got New Zealand thinking, so much so that they decided to back out. This was a team, that would certainly have wanted to improve their recent form, especially in the format that matters most.
And that’s not from a historical or purist perspective- but from the context of the soon-to-happen World Cup, 2021.
New Zealand lost the series to Bangladesh, the latter, hosting the Kiwis taking the series by winning 3 games and losing two.
Regardless, what remains of the now cancelled New Zealand tour of Pakistan 2021 are just comments and hurt feelings, most of which, as expected, have made their way to social media.
And one of the most outspoken of all Pakistan cricketers, Shoaib Akhtar- often misunderstood, frequently angry, a perpetual enigma, had to say the following, according to a news report published recently on the revered NDTV of India:
NZ just killed Pakistan cricket,” Akhtar tweeted on Friday. “Sad scenes & news from Rawalpindi,” he had tweeted a few moments earlier.
“Extremely disappointed on the abrupt postponement of the series, which could have brought the smiles back for millions of Pakistan Cricket Fans. I’ve full trust in the capabilities and credibility of our security agencies. They are our pride and always will be! Pakistan Zindabad!” he wrote on Twitter.
Now that being said, the following is what NZ cricket chief executive Mr. David White had to say on a matter that’s become rather controversial but would not have since it would only have been centred on Cricket, had it been played in the first place:
He alluded to the fact that backing out of the tour was the option, sharing “I understand this will be a blow for the PCB, who have been wonderful hosts, but player safety is paramount and we believe this is the only responsible option.“