Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi expressed his disappointment over New Zealand and England pulling out of their respective tours of Pakistan and feels what the Kiwis have done is ‘unforgivable’.
Following reports of a security threat, New Zealand decided to abandon their entire tour hours before the first ODI, which was scheduled to take place in Rawalpindi on September 17.
Notably, the NZC board didn’t share the specifics of the security threat with the PCB or the Pakistan government and flew out their players soon.
Speaking on the same, Shahid Afridi said that the Kiwi players are loved in Pakistan but did the “unforgivable” act of pulling out while also not explaining that “potential threat”.
“New Zealand cricketers are loved in Pakistan and for them to do something like this is unforgivable. If there was any potential threat, they should have been shared with the PCB and waited for Pakistan’s security forces to assess the situation,” Afridi told Cricket Pakistan.
After New Zealand England also withdrew from the men and women tour citing players’ mental health as a reason.
Commenting on the same, Afridi said, “We all know that there is a huge amount of scrutiny when it comes to arranging tours. Proper investigations are conducted by the security members of the touring nation. The routes are defined and only when the process is completed, that is when the teams are given the green signal to visit the country.”
Meanwhile, Afridi also reacted to reports that an e-mail that prompted the BlackCaps to call off the tour had originated from India.
On Wednesday, Pakistan’s information minister Fawad Chaudhry had alleged that the e-mail threatening New Zealand players and government “was generated from India through a VPN showing the location of Singapore”.
Reacting to the claim, Afridi took a dig at India and said other ‘educated nations’ should not follow the neighbouring nation and take a stand as per their understanding.
“If you have to look at the bigger picture then I think we need to take a decision which shows the world that we are also a country and we have our pride. It’s ok if one country is behind us but I don’t think other countries should also make the same mistake,” asserted Afridi.
“They are all educated nations and should not follow India. Instead, cricket should improve relations. The situation was bad in India. We were getting threats. Our board asked us to go and we went there. Similarly, during Covid-19, the situation that there was in England, the cricket went on. If you trust false e-mails and cancel tours then I believe you are offering them fodder to win,” he further added.