Former captain Shahid Afridi is disappointed at New Zealand and England pulling out of their respective tours of Pakistan and feels what the Black Caps have done is 'unforgivable'. New Zealand were scheduled to play the limited-overs series in Pakistan, but hours before the first ODI in Rawalpindi on September 17, following reports of a security threat, New Zealand called off their entire tour.
New Zealand's pull out had a ripple effect as just a few days later, the England cricket team opted to boycott their men and women's tour of Pakistan as well. Afridi feels that instead of calling off the entire tour, New Zealand should have looked into the matter as a lot of precaution was being taken by Pakistan to arrange a safe and proper cricket series.
"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," Afridi told Cricket Pakistan.
"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 reacted to reports that an e-mail that prompted New Zealand to call off the tour had originated from India. On Wednesday, Pakistan's information minister Fawad Chaudhry had claimed that the 'e-mail was generated from India through a VPN showing the location of Singapore'. To this, Afridi made a bold statement saying that just because one country is after Pakistan, other 'educated nations' should not make the same mistake.
"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. They are all educated nations and should not follow India," Afridi added.
"Instead, cricket should improve relations. 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. This is not the right way."