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New Zealand declines PCB’s invitation to play T20 series in Pakistan

CricketNew Zealand declines PCB's invitation to play T20 series in Pakistan

New Zealand Cricket has turned down a request from the PCB to tour Pakistan later this year for a T20I series because of security concerns. New Zealand are set to travel to the UAE to play Pakistan for a full tour that is likely to comprise three Tests, three ODIs and as many T20Is in October-November, even though the fixtures are not announced yet. The PCB had hoped to convince New Zealand to play the T20I leg of the tour in Pakistan.pakistan

“At the end of the day it came down to following the advisory and the security reports we’d obtained.” NZC chairman Greg Barclay told Newshub. “There’s no doubt they (Pakistan Cricket Board) are disappointed. I think they saw a tour by a country like New Zealand as being a great precedent for them to start to build an international programme back in Pakistan.

“So they’re disappointed but they’re good guys, we get on really well with Pakistan, and I think they’re fully accepting of the decision that we’ve reached.”

NZC had received a request to tour Pakistan earlier this year and was going to consult with security providers, the government, and the players.

Since the terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009, Pakistan have played most of their home games in the UAE. Zimbabwe broke the deadlock in May 2015 when they toured for a short limited-overs series, which was marred by a blast near the Gaddafi Stadium.

A World XI side led by Faf du Plessis, comprising a number of current internationals toured the country for three T20Is in September 2017. In April this year, a depleted West Indies squad also toured Pakistan for three T20Is in as many days. In between, Lahore and Karachi have hosted a few PSL matches.

New Zealand last toured Pakistan in 2003, just a year after a suicide bombing outside their team hotel in Karachi had cut their tour short.

“I can’t comment on the decision process that the West Indies went through, perhaps some of the timings may have been different as well,” Barclay said of West Indies’ decision to tour. “I just know that we went through a very thorough process and I’m comfortable with the decision that we got to.

“We’re very sympathetic to the plight they find themselves in, we’re a member of the ICC, we’re very aware that the ICC are trying to facilitate more international cricket in Pakistan and we’re very supportive of that.”

Although they were given three months to analyse the situation, NZC had not sent any of their representatives to Pakistan to conduct any personal checks.

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