London [UK], September 17 (ANI): England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) proposed tour of Pakistan in October is under the scanner after New Zealand Cricket (NZC) abandoned their ongoing tour citing security threat.
The Blackcaps decided to end the tour following a New Zealand government security alert, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) informed. New Zealand was slated to play their first match on Pakistan soil since 2003. The side was to play hosts on Friday in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi, before moving to Lahore for a five-match T20 series.
England's men and women teams are currently due to play two T20Is in Rawalpindi on October 13 and 14, with the women due to stay on for a three-match ODI series as well. But with Blackcaps' last-minute decision to return back home, the ECB have confirmed they are reviewing their plans, with a decision expected in the next "24-48 hours.""We're aware of New Zealand's decision to pull out of the Pakistan tour due to a security alert," an ECB spokesperson said, as per espncricinfo.com. "We are liaising with our security team who are on the ground in Pakistan to fully understand the situation. The ECB Board will then decide in the next 24-48 hours whether our planned tour should proceed."Notably, NZC and the ECB use the same security consultants -- ESI Risk -- to advise on such matters. Earlier NZC had stated: "Following an escalation in the New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan, and advice from NZC security advisors on the ground, it has been decided the BLACKCAPS will not continue with the tour."Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern before Blackcaps announced they are abandoning their tour of Pakistan. Imran Khan assured Ardern that Pakistan has one of the best intelligence systems in the world and that no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team but New Zealand Cricket (NZC) still decided to return home after the NZ government security alert.
NZC said it will not comment on the details of the security threat nor the updated arrangements for the departing squad. (ANI)