Not long ago, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) called off their limited-overs tour of Pakistan. The Black Caps withdrew from the tour due to security reasons. New Zealand national cricket team led by Kane Williamson were slated to play three ODIs followed by five Twenty20 matches, in what would be their first white-ball series in Pakistan since 2003.
It is cognizance of the fact that international cricket in Pakistan was suspended following the terror attacks against the Sri Lankan team in 2009. However, international cricket slowly revived over the past 2 years. Recently, New Zealand called off their tour at the last minute. Their decision took the Pakistan cricket fans and players by surprise.
The trouble started when the ODI opener of the limited-overs series didn’t start on time at the Rawalpindi Stadium on Friday with both teams staying in their hotel rooms.
The side was to play Pakistan this evening in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi, before moving to Lahore for a five-match T20 series. However, 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 – NZC stated in a release.
New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White came up with a statement to say that it was not possible to proceed with the tour considering the advice he was receiving.
While Kiwis didn’t disclose the details of the security threat, Pakistan had alleged that a threatening email was sent to the New Zealand cricket squad from India, which triggered the Kiwis to call off a tour.
Pakistan claims Om Prakash Mishra is behind cancelling of NZ tour
In a video that is doing the rounds on social media, Pakistan’s Minister of Information and Broadcast Fawad Chaudhry opened up about the chain of events at a press conference.
He said that a fake post was created in the name of a militant organization “Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan” that asked the team to leave Pakistan as they would be “targeted.”
Fawad also highlighted the name of Om Prakash Mishra during the conference, who seems to be a common face on the Indian social media community. During the conference, Fawad said, “The mobile device from which the threat was launched was launched in India in August 2019 and became active on September 25, through which a man named Om Prakash Mishra created a fake e-mail ID named Hamza Afridi from Mumbai and threatened to locate Singapore through VPN.”
He added, “Timing and text of the threat email suggest that the threat was not the reason for cancellation of the tour, but was issued after the cancellation.”