Last week, the New Zealand cricket team became the highlight of international and Pakistan’s local news. Unlike other times, the reason for staying news was not an extraordinary victory but refusing to play moments before the match was scheduled.
New Zealand says that the players were under security threat therefore, they could not leave the hotel. What’s confusing is that no details of this security threat were revealed to Pakistan and other concerned authorities to conduct further inspections and go into further details. This move by New Zealand not only puts Pakistan under a gridlock of cricket at the home ground but also is damaging to the morals and spirit of cricket worldwide.
New Zealand Tour Pakistan – A Homecoming of Cricket in Pakistan
It is open knowledge that cricket in Pakistan has suffered the most due to security issues that came with the War on Terror in the region. Not only Pakistan’s economy has suffered but the entertainment opportunities for people like cricket matches were but on hiatus (for an unknown period). Amid the chaos, Pakistan has made efforts to bring cricket back to their home grouds.
Even during the COVID19 threat, when sports teams were avoiding visiting other countries, Pakistan’s contributions to help international cricket are undeniable. Pakistan’s visit to New Zealand was supposed to be a two-way relationship, which is why the New Zealand cricket team visited Pakistan for a series. Unfortunately, they failed to keep their words and refused to play the match moments before the toss was set to be aired on September 17, 2021.
It was devastating news for true cricket fans around the world. Moreover, this small move of New Zealand based on unverified security concerns can put Pakistan back to square one even after all the efforts made by Pakistani authorities for bringing cricket back home.
Following New Zealand’s cowardly pullout, the England cricket team – that was set to visit Pakistan has withdrawn from the tour.
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Security Arrangments by Pakistan
There is no doubt the PM level of security provided to the New Zealand team was more than enough considering the stable security conditions of the country for the last few years. as far as any unforeseen event is concerned, any country can have a security breach. Just like the firing in a mosque in New Zealand that killed many Muslims who went for Friday prayer in the mosque. On top of that, the event was aired lived by the shooter. If we start counting events like these, no country is safe and will always remain a security threat.
Here is a glimpse of security provided to New Zealand players by Pakistani authorities.
If this is not satisfactory security then God knows what is.
Cricket lovers from different countries showed their disappointment after the news of New Zealand pulling out of the match at the last minute.
Here is how people made comparison of Western countries when they need something from Pakistan vs when they have to give something to Pakistan.
Ramiz Raja has to say something to New Zealand and England as well.
International and Pakistani Players also showed their disappointment over this matter.
In a tweet, Cris Gayle announced that he will be visiting Pakistan soon.
Similarly, many international players showed their support and appreciated Pakistan for hospitality and security arrangements during their visit for PSL matches. This is proof of the safety of international players in Pakistan. However, Pakistanis are still waiting for the proof of that ‘security threat’ New Zealand used to run away from Pakistan.
Future Discourse of Pakistan
This unethical move has hurt the sentiments of Pakistani people and all true cricket lovers in the world.
The first and foremost necessary step for Pakistan at the moment is to investigate the source of the threat. Recent news declares that the source of the threat was India. No one knows the validity of this news till now but this can be taken into consideration for further investigations.
Moreover, Pakistan must register this case to ICB and in case of a false threat, demand heavy compensation (in any form) for defaming Pakistan.
For future reference, Pakistan must start local cricket tournaments on a small and large scale to boost cricket in Pakistan. More Tournaments like PSL must be introduced in Pakistan. It will be a good step for Pakistan’s economy and will keep the spirit of cricket alive in Pakistan. Additionally, it will give platforms for emerging talents to showcase their skills and polish them. Unless and until we polish our skills and become economically strong, it will be difficult to change the situation.