New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson has stated that it’s a “real shame” that the Kiwis abandoned their first tour of Pakistan in 18 years.
Williamson is participating in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), said that the squad would have been disappointed to miss out on the opportunity of playing in Pakistan.
“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,” Williamson told Sportstar.
Williamson hoped that New Zealand Cricket’s decision will not hamper return of international cricket to Pakistan.
“I certainly hope not. 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. 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 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.
New Zealand abandoned their limited-overs series in Pakistan after receiving a security alert. They were in Pakistan for the first time since 2003 and were due to play three ODIs, followed by five Twenty20 matches.