Cancellation of NZ tour


Pakistan’s cricket fraternity, especially its legions of fans, is pretty justified in taking the New Zealand cricket board’s decision to walk out of the tour as a stab in the back; especially since they’ve given no credible reason for their move. If security was really a concern, then it should have come up in the multiple exchanges between the two sides before and after their team arrived here. But since no such thing happened, and the black caps have not provided any details about the nature of the security threat they think they face despite PM Imran Khan’s phone call to PM Jessinda Ardern, it seems there is something sinister behind this move after all.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid seems pretty convinced that some powers are trying their best to destabilise Pakistan in the aftermath of the change of guard in Afghanistan. Indeed, the perception that increased uncertainty following the Taliban’s return will increase security challenges in Pakistan is spreading rather fast in the international press. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has promised to take this matter up with the International Cricket Council (ICC), but it’s also said pretty plainly that India’s clout is far too strong there to expect much to come from it.
The best we can do, then, is concentrate on our cricket. New PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja seems to have found the best solution of all; that is to channel all the anger and frustration into playing better cricket because once we regain our status as one of the best outfits in the world, other teams will line up themselves for a change to play with us.
It will now be important to keep this trend from spreading, though. Therefore, it is very important for the ICC to issue clear directives about the kind of security it needs for cricket series to go on without any unpleasant surprises.