New Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja has emphasised that the country’s cricket had gone through experiences similar to the one when the New Zealand team pulled out at the last minute but it had “always moved forward”.
Raja posted a video on the PCB website after the New Zealand team pulled out hours before the start of the three-match One-day International series at Pindi Cricket Ground in Rawalpindi on September 17 citing security concerns.
The chief executive of New Zealand Cricket (NZC) David White had said it was simply not possible to continue with the tour given the advice he was receiving. “I understand this will be a blow for the PCB, who have been wonderful hosts, but player safety is paramount and we believe this is the only responsible option.”
Raja said in a video message to cricket fans that, “Our pain is shared. Whatever happened isn’t good for Pakistan cricket. But one point that needs to be emphasised is that we have gone through such experiences in the past and we always move forward.
“So I urge our fans to stand behind the Pakistan team and be its strength at the (T20) World Cup. To my team, I would like to say take out your frustrations on the field because that is the only remedy. When you become the world’s best team then everyone is queuing up in line to play series in your country. So I want everyone to take this as a lesson and move on and not be disappointed.”
The PCB is reportedly planning to take up the issue with the International Cricket Council (ICC) after Raja tweeted following the cancellation of the series that, “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.”
The series was being seen as ideal preparation for Pakistan ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman in October-November this year.
“We will come out of this situation where our (ability to host) international cricket is under pressure again but even if we don’t we still have that strong gut. We have the confidence and strength to work on our domestic cricket and still produce a world-class team.
“I understand there is a lot of pressure on the Pakistan team. But that’s okay. We will face it. And we will bring you good news. Good performances. We are rallying the fans to get behind us. Now is the time to work hard and emerge as the world’s best team so that we can get out of this challenge easily. I am with you and hope you are also with me, and as a unit we will take Pakistan cricket forward.”