Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja says New Zealand's abrupt withdrawal from their tour of the country on security grounds has put an unwanted question mark over their ability to host international matches in the future.
New Zealand's cricket squad flew out of Islamabad on Saturday, a day after abandoning their tour of Pakistan over a security alert and leaving the South Asian nation devastated.
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The move is a massive setback for Pakistan, who have been trying to revive tours by foreign sides after home internationals were suspended in the aftermath of a 2009 terror attack on the Sri Lankan team.
The New Zealanders arrived in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, aboard a charter flight on Sunday.
"There's a lot of pressure created on Pakistan cricket and (especially) Pakistan cricket at home," PCB chairman Raja told cricket fans in a video message released on Saturday.
"The fight to survive is the base on which we challenge the whole world.
"If such a situation is developed (again) when international cricket comes under pressure in Pakistan, we will challenge them once again."
Pakistan are awaiting a decision from the England and Wales Cricket Board on the fate of scheduled limited-overs tours by the England men's and women's teams next month.
The West Indies are due to tour Pakistan in December, while Australia are scheduled to go in February.
New Zealand Cricket wouldn't reveal the nature of the security alert, but a Pakistan government minister said they were wary of being attacked outside the stadium in Rawalpindi.
New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday said it alerted NZC to a "credible, specific" security threat to the national team.
Meanwhile, Raja has urged his players to "vent your frustration and anger by performing well".
"The point is that we have experienced this before but we have moved forward, we have resilience, we have power and that's because of fans and because of our cricket team," Raja said.
"If we can't come out of this pressure, we have enough confidence and power that on our domestic level (that) we can make a world beating team."
Anger over New Zealand's abrupt withdrawal from Pakistan
New Zealand Cricket called off their first tour of Pakistan in 18 years just as the first one-day international was due to start in Rawalpindi on Thursday.
They had been due to play three ODIs and five Twenty20 internationals on the tour.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Pakistan's leader Imran Khan that the team feared an attack outside the stadium, according to Pakistan's Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad.
In a brief public statement, Ardern said her government supported the cancellation as "player safety has to be paramount".
Pakistan are due to play New Zealand at the T20 World Cup on October 26 in the UAE, and Raja considered it an opportunity.
"I want to say to my cricket team, vent your frustration and anger by performing well (at the World Cup)," he said.
"When you become the best team, everybody will want to play against you.
"We should learn from this and move forward, we don't need to get disappointed."
New Zealand previously cut short a tour in 2002 after a suicide bombing outside their team hotel in Karachi killed 14 people, including 11 French naval engineers.
Pakistan, deeply frustrated by the last-minute withdrawal, has denied any security threats.
Security in the country has improved dramatically over the past few years but militant groups still operate along the border with Afghanistan.
Pakistan have only hosted South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe since the 2009 attacks.
Pakistan should not host New Zealand ever again. This is a shameful act by New Zealand. If they don't feel safe under such security arrangements, they must be confined to their rooms in New Zealand.#PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/hex6VLN8Wv
— Fazal Abbas (@_AbbasFazal) September 17, 2021
Shameful for New Zealand to cancel its tour of Pakistan just because of stupid rumors about security. I’ve spent years in both countries and I always feel safer in Pakistan (left) than NZ (right) #PakistanZindabad 🇵🇰 pic.twitter.com/MZ3laP4KN7
— Jeremy McLellan (@JeremyMcLellan) September 18, 2021
- Just landed & got the news of New Zealand tour cancellation, IMO if Srilanka can visit Pakistan after what happened followed by countries like SA, WI, BD, ZIM in recent times with successful tours, why not NZ?
Not only me, millions of cricket fans are gutted by this decision..
— Shoaib Malik 🇵🇰 (@realshoaibmalik) September 17, 2021
Speculation that British High Commission was involved in PakvsNZ tour being called off are untrue; this was a decision for the New Zealand authorities & taken independently. I recognise that this is a sad day for cricket fans in 🇵🇰 & around 🌍 who were looking fwd to the series
— Christian Turner (@CTurnerFCDO) September 17, 2021
New Zealand team came to Pakistan and went back without playing any match. What a disgrace to this country for which India has succeeded in its move.
— Zaffar Ullah Baloch🇵🇰TLP 🇹🇷 (@ZaffarUllahBal4) September 17, 2021
If the New Zealand team goes back without playing a match, it will be a disgrace for Pakistan in front of the whole world. Hopefully this problem will be solved otherwise it will be a dark day of Pakistan cricket.#PAKvNZ
— Muhammad Moiz Asif (@MoizAsif19) September 17, 2021
New Zealand cricket team refuses to play in Pakistan on darkest day for Pakistan once in selected government
What would be a greater disgrace than this The New Zealand Prime Minister also refused to listen to the selected one 😡 #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/pg9kM2QK9f
— Saqlain Maqsood. #GrwKSher (@Saq_Maqsood) September 17, 2021
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