The Pakistan Cricket Board said together with the Pakistan government they "made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams.

The security concern has the Pakistan hosts mystified.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said together with the Pakistan government they “made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same.”

PCB chairman Ramiz Raja hinted they will protest to the International Cricket Council against NZC’s unilateral decision.

“Crazy day it has been! Feel so sorry for the fans and our players,” Raja tweeted. “Walking out of the tour by taking a unilateral approach on a security threat is very frustrating. Especially when it’s not shared!! Which world is NZ living in??NZ will hear us at ICC.”

NZC said on its website: “Following an escalation in the New Zealand government threat levels for Pakistan, and advice from NZC security advisers on the ground, it has been decided the Black Caps will not continue with the tour. Arrangements are now being made for the team’s departure on Saturday.”

New Zealand’s first visit to Pakistan in 18 years was to feature three ODIs in Rawalpindi and five Twenty20s in Lahore. Both cities and the security arrangements were cleared by NZC’s security team last month.

Ahmed said Pakistan allowed hosting the games without spectators but New Zealand rejected the offer. Pakistan, therefore, allowed the stadiums in Rawalpindi and Lahore to be at 25% crowd capacity because of the pandemic. But Pindi Stadium wasn’t opened on Friday to spectators as New Zealand decided to abandon the tour.

NZC chief executive David White said the advice he received made the tour impossible to continue, and he was supported by the New Zealand Cricket Players Association.

“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,” White said.

The PCB said it tried its best to convince the Kiwis, but “cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world will be disappointed by this last-minute withdrawal (of New Zealand).”

Pakistan captain Babar Azam expressed his disappointment at the cancellation, while former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar tweeted: “NZ just killed Pakistan cricket.”

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