Pakistan's staggering new claims in New Zealand cricket furore

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, pictured here speaking to the media.
Jacinda Ardern said she supported New Zealand's decision to leave Pakistan. Image: Getty

Pakistan's Information Minister has made staggering new claims that a threat to New Zealand's cricket team that saw them call off their tour of Pakistan came in an email that originated in India.

New Zealand's cricketers arrived home on Wednesday after abandoning their tour of Pakistan last week due to a perceived security threat.

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New Zealand Cricket said they were aware of a "specific and credible" threat but did not give exact details.

On Wednesday, Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the threat had come via an email.

"This email was generated from India through a VPN showing the location of Singapore," Chaudhry told reporters in Pakistan's capital.

India's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Nuclear-armed neighbours and arch-rivals Pakistan and India regularly blame each other for acts of violence, charges each government denies.

Chaudhry said the West Indies team, due to arrive in December, had also been sent a threat that he said was fake.

Shunned by every cricket-playing nation after a deadly 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore, Pakistan have been trying to woo back top international teams in recent years.

New Zealand's withdrawal dealt a massive blow to Pakistan's hopes of staging regular international cricket, with England subsequently calling off their men's and women's tours this week.

Australia is yet to make a decision on their tour to Pakistan next year, but has advised they will examine the full details behind the cancellations of the NZ and England tours.

Paramilitary soldiers, pictured here standing guard outside the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.
Paramilitary soldiers stand guard outside the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Pakistan left furious over tour withdrawals

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja has accused the western bloc, Australia included, of not looking after the entire cricket fraternity.

"If the cricket fraternity will not take care of each other then there's no point," Raja said on Tuesday.

"England, Australia, New Zealand is all one bloc. Who can we complain to? We thought they were our own but they haven't accepted us as theirs ... this western bloc gets united unfortunately and tries to back each other.

"How I wish today that I was still a YouTuber, rather than the chairman of the cricket board, because I would have absolutely taken on New Zealand and England unabashedly. It's the feeling of being used and then binned β€” that is the feeling that I have right now."

Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, pictured here speaking next to Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.
Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry speaks next to Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

New Zealand 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 scheduled 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".

Security in Pakistan 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.

Deeply frustrated by New Zealand's last-minute withdrawal, top officials denied any legitimate security threats existed, while fans and commentators flocked to social media to condemn the move.

with agencies

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