New Zealand fiasco: Where the intelligence came from

Kiwis departed from Pakistan without playing a single game
Sep 19, 2021

New Zealand Cricket abandoned Pakistan tour on orders of the Five Eyes, NZ Herald reported Saturday.

The Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, United States, and United Kingdom.

The Black Caps made the call just hours before the first ODI in Rawalpindi on Friday citing security concerns.

According to the report the security threat was deemed credible before the match. It led to phone calls between officials of both the cricket boards and Pakistan and New Zealand Prime Ministers Imran Khan and Jacinda Ardern.

"Within 12 hours of those conversations, the tour was cancelled," the report said.

The development unfolded a day after Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed in a press conference claimed the New Zealand authorities "do not have substantive proof" of a threat in Pakistan.

This was the Kiwis’ first tour of Pakistan in 18 years where they were scheduled to play three ODI and five T20Is in Rawalpindi and Lahore respectively.  

PCB in a statement on Friday said that New Zealand Cricket informed that they had been alerted to some security alert and unilaterally decided to postpone the series.

“Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same,” the statement read.

Following the cancellation, the England tour of Pakistan is also now in doubt with the decision from England Cricket Board (ECB) is expected in a few hours.  

“We’re aware of New Zealand’s decision to pull out of the Pakistan tour due to a security alert,” the spokesperson said as quoted by Sky Sports.

England’s men and women teams are due to play two T20Is in Rawalpindi on October 13 and 14.

The women’s team is also due to play three ODIs in Pakistan on October 17, 19, and 21.

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