Major loss of NZ pulling out is our credibility taking a hit: PCB


“Sri Lanka, Bangladesh teams willing to tour Pakistan but it’s not possible due to logistical issues and shortage of time”
The Chief Executive Officer of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Wasim Khan on Sunday said that New Zealand Cricket has set a bad precedent by unilaterally deciding to abandon the Pakistan tour as it has affected Pakistan’s credibility.
“Our credibility has been affected because of New Zealand’s decision, which is a big loss for us,” Khan said while speaking during a virtual press conference on Sunday.
Wasim said that the PCB had employed efforts day and night to make cricket successful in Pakistan but New Zealand Cricket’s unilateral decision will have a long-lasting negative impact on cricket in the country.
“We will take up the matter with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and bring the New Zealand Cricket Board to the table,” said Khan. “Rest assured, I will say again and again that there was no security breach.”
He went on to say that the NZ Cricket Board has cancelled the tour based on a five-nation intelligence report. Wasim said that despite Pakistan’s requests, the report was deemed to be “confidential information” and was not shared with our intelligence services.
“It was hugely disappointing for us considering that this [report] was threatening the tour,” he said, adding that sharing the report with Pakistan’s intelligence services would have allowed them to mitigate any potential threats so that the tour could have been continued.
“We have seen in the past that in places like Bangladesh [among others], attacks have happened but tours have continued based on security reports by security experts.”
The CEO added that the security expert for New Zealand had “continuously maintained that Pakistan is safe in terms of security protocols that we have in place, both from a plan and a roll-out perspective.”
He exemplified the visit of the United Kingdom’s royal couple to Pakistan last year that enjoyed the same presidential security.
Normally, when threat levels increase, western countries’ embassies and foreign missions in Pakistan change their travel advisories but no such thing had happened regarding the “supposed threat,” Khan said.
“ I think the credible information in that report should have been shared [with us]… it sets a very, very dangerous precedent when countries are making unilateral decisions that potentially can have long-term consequences for countries.”
“I think we probably expected some dialogue and some discussion between the New Zealand intelligence and our intelligence so that they could discuss what type of threat had been perceived so that we could try to mitigate that to ensure the tour continued.”
Wasim said that the NZ team had been practising in Pakistan for three days, incident-free, and was very happy travelling to and from the Pindi Stadium. He said that players also gave positive feedback about their security.
The England Cricket Board (ECB) will be making a decision today whether their team would tour Pakistan or not, Wasim said, adding that he certainly hoped that England will be touring.
The PCB CEO said that the board has been in contact with the Bangladesh and Sri Lanka teams and both are willing to come to Pakistan.
“Although the two teams have agreed to tour Pakistan, it will not be possible due to logistical issues and a shortage of time,” he said.