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New Zealand’s abrupt withdrawal from Pakistan tour ‘real shame’: Williamson

He is currently in Dubai for the IPL

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 20, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Sep 20, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago

Photo: AFP

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is hopeful that the team’s abrupt abandonment of their tour of Pakistan won’t have a lasting impact on its reputation as a venue for international cricket.

The team called off their tour — which was to feature three ODIs and five T20Is — on the eve of the first one-dayer citing security threats.

Willamson, though, wasn’t a part of the visitors’ squad since he was rested for the series.

The Kiwis skipper, currently in Dubai for the Indian Premier League, believed cricket should be played in all countries, including Pakistan.

“You want to be playing the game in all countries. It is an international game and there is so much passion for it around the world, particularly in Pakistan,” he told Sportstar on Sunday.

“I certainly hope there is no lasting impact from it because it is a special place for cricket to be and there have been a lot of strides forward to see cricket go back into Pakistan and play there safely.”

He said the abrupt way in which the series was called off was a shame and believed the New Zealand squad members would have been disappointed to see it happen because they were looking forward to the competition.

“I don’t know the details of yesterday. It was a sudden call, but obviously, a real shame,” said the Kiwis captain.

“Cricket in Pakistan is an amazing thing and so well supported. There is so much passion there and I think the guys will be gutted to not have started and playing the whole series.

“But I am not sure of the details since I am in Dubai for the IPL. I will find out a bit more about it over the next few days,” he added.

Williamson said the New Zealand contingent in Pakistan did not have many options after being asked by the government to abort the tour. “Players’ safety is paramount and when you hear messages going through from the government, it is certainly above the players’ heads.”

“They were obviously over there, ready to go to the ground. It is a sudden thing that happened. We have seen that happen on a number of occasions, so hopefully, there is plenty more cricket there to come.”

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