Lahore: New Zealand cricket team captain Kane Williamson called New Zealand’s decision to withdraw from the Pakistan Tour a “real shame” and hoped that this would not have a “lasting impact” on Pakistan’s games.
Speaking to a sports channel on Saturday, Williamson said, “I don’t know the details of yesterday. It was a sudden call, but obviously, a real shame. 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,” stated Williamson who himself didn’t come to Pakistan.
Hope that New Zealand’s move will not affect the future of Pakistan’s cricket, Williamson said, “You want to compete in all countries. This is an international game, and the whole world is full of enthusiasm for it, especially in Pakistan.”
“It was really exciting to see the series go back there and I know our team was looking forward to it. Players’ safety is paramount and when you hear messages going through from the government, it is certainly above the players’ heads,” he added.
He further said, “They were obviously over there, ready to go to the ground. It is a sudden thing that happened. 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.”
“We have seen that happen on a number of occasions, so hopefully, there is plenty more cricket there to come,” he concluded.
In other reports, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) turned down the New Zealand Cricket Board’s offer to reschedule Pak-New Zealand limited over series at a neutral venue.
According to reports, the New Zealand Cricket Committee contacted PCB and proposed to reschedule the abandoned series on a neutral field.
The New Zealand Cricket Committee stated that New Zealand hopes to play cricket in Pakistan again and is looking for a suitable window to reschedule the series.