Shoaib Akhtar has accused New Zealand of 'killing' Pakistan cricket after they cancelled their tour of the country due to security concerns.
The tour was abandoned at the last minute, with a statement from New Zealand Cricket explaining that "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."
The decision did not go down well with the Pakistan Cricket Board or former players like Akhtar, with a statement from the PCB claiming they had made "foolproof security arrangements" and that "no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team".
Reacting to the news, Akhtar simply tweeted: "NZ just killed Pakistan cricket".
In a follow-up tweet, he added: "Following points for New Zealand to remember: 9 Pakistanis were killed in the Christchurch attack. Pakistan stood strong with New Zealand.
"Pakistan toured New Zealand in the worst of Covid circumstances regardless of the crude treatment by NZ authorities on that tour.
"This was just an unverified threat, it could have been discussed. Prime Minister Imran Khan personally spoke to his NZ counterpart and assured but it was still refused.
"Pakistan has safely hosted South Africa, Bangladesh, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe & PSL."
Fellow Pakistan legend Shahid Afridi also slammed New Zealand for abandoning the tour, writing: "On a HOAX threat you have called-off the tour despite all assurances!! @BLACKCAPS do you understand the IMPACT of your decision?"
Newly appointed PCB chairman Ramiz Raja criticised New Zealand for not sharing the details of the security threat.
He tweeted: "Crazy day it has been! Feel so sorry for the fans and our players. Walking out of the tour by taking a unilateral approach on a security threat is very frustrating. Especially when it’s not shared!! Which world is NZ living in??NZ will hear us at ICC."
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam added: "Extremely disappointed on the abrupt postponement of the series, which could have brought the smiles back for millions of Pakistan Cricket Fans.
"I've full trust in the capabilities and credibility of our security agencies. They are our pride and always will be! Pakistan Zindabad!"
Current Pakistan star Shadab Khan wrote: "This is heartbreaking. Pakistanis love cricket so much, we have worked really hard to bring cricket back here.
"PSL & other teams visiting Pakistan is evidence of our hospitality & security arrangements. We will continue our efforts. #PakistanZindabad"
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, meanwhile, said she 'totally supported' the decision to abandon the tour, insisting that "player safety has to be paramount".
"When I spoke with the Prime Minister of Pakistan I conveyed our thanks for taking care of the New Zealand Cricket team," Ardern said.
"I know how disappointing it will be for everyone that the game hasn’t gone ahead, but we totally support the decision that’s been made. Player safety has to be paramount."
Source: Read Full Article