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Cricket-NZ players reach Dubai after ‘credible threat’ derailed Pakistan tour By Reuters


© Reuters. After the New Zealand cricket team pulled out of Pakistan’s tour due to security concerns in Rawalpindi (Pakistan), September 17, 2021, police officers stood guard. REUTERS/Waseem Khan NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

WELLINGTON (Reuters) -New Zealand was warned of a “specific, credible threat” against its team, the country’s cricket board said on Sunday, elaborating on the rationale for abruptly abandoning the tour of Pakistan as the squad reached Dubai.

New Zealand pulled out from the limited-overs tour in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Friday due to a New Zealand security alert.

David White, Chief Executive of New Zealand Cricket (NZC), said that they received a threat to the team from New Zealand Cricket.

Everything changed Friday. We took responsibility for our actions and changed the advice.

We were told that we couldn’t stay there.

New Zealand was visiting Pakistan for its first visit in 18 years. They also were due to participate in five Twenty20 matches at Lahore.

After the attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus that was carrying six officers and two civilians in Lahore, 2009 by Islamist militants, top teams have mostly avoided Pakistan.

On Saturday, 34 players traveled by chartered plane from Islamabad to Dubai. They are now in self-isolation for 24 hours.

Twenty-four of the players will be returning home next week. The rest will join New Zealand’s Twenty20 World Cup team for the final tournament in Oman and the United Arab Emirates, which is scheduled to begin Oct. 17.

White confirmed that the PCB received the general threat and shared it with them. However, White refused to reveal any specifics.

Although the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which was angered at the withdrawl and kept secret about the precise nature of the threat, has written NZC to express its disappointment and plans to raise the matter with International Cricket Council.

Wasim Khan (PCB chief executive) said at a live news conference that “it sets a very dangerous precedent when nations are unilaterally taking decisions that could potentially have long-term consequences”

Khan dismissed the possibility of Pakistan not playing New Zealand at this year’s Twenty20 World Cup.

“We have had a great relationship with New Zealand in past. Is it causing tensions now? Absolutely.

Khan stated that Khan believed the manner it was carried out was “disrespectful in many aspects.”

Jacinda Adern, New Zealand Prime Minister, stated that NZC made the “right decision” to withdraw from the tour.

On Sunday, she explained that NZC was “not in a position” to disclose any additional information about the nature or extent of the intelligence.

White also addressed a report on news website that said a member of the team had received death threats before embarking on the tour of Pakistan. The email threats, which he claimed were sent to his security provider and proved not to be credible, were also addressed by White.