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New Zealand warned of 'specific and credible threat' in Pakistan


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New Zealand were warned of a "specific and credible threat" against them before abandoning the Pakistan tour.

The Black Caps pulled out of the one-day and Twenty20 series before the scheduled opening game in Rawalpindi on Friday following a New Zealand government "security alert".

The players have since flown to Dubai.

In the next 24 hours the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will discuss whether the men's and women's tours of Pakistan in October will go ahead.

England men and women are scheduled to play double-header T20 internationals on 13 and 14 October before the women play ODIs on 17, 19 and 21 October.

England's men have not toured Pakistan since 2005, while the women have never visited.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said: "We were advised this was a specific and credible threat against the team.

"Everything changed on Friday. The advice changed, the threat level changed and, as a consequence, we took the only responsible course of action possible."

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "You will understand why we are not in a position to give further information as to the nature of the intelligence, other than to say, it was a direct threat, and it was a credible threat."

In response, Pakistan Cricket Board chief executive Wasim Khan said: "Credible information that was in that report should have been shared. It sets a very, very dangerous precedent when countries are unilaterally making decisions that potentially could have long-term consequences.

"We expected some dialogue between the New Zealand intelligence and our intelligence, so we could discuss what type of threat had been perceived, so we could try to mitigate that so the tour could continue.

"Of course health and safety remains paramount, but we certainly believe that had that information been shared, we may have been able to enlighten the New Zealand government as to what the information was on the ground here."

On Friday the ECB said it would decide "in the next 24-48 hours" if the England matches will take place.

New Zealand's tour of Pakistan was their first in 18 years. The sides were due to play three ODIs in Rawalpindi and five T20s in Lahore.

In December 2019 Pakistan played a Test at home for the first time since the Sri Lanka team bus was attacked in 2009.

With international teams opting not to tour because of security fears, Pakistan have played the majority of their home matches since 2009 in the United Arab Emirates, often in front of sparse crowds.

New Zealand's 34 players and staff left Islamabad by chartered flight on Saturday, and will spend 24 hours in self-isolation in their hotel in Dubai.

Of that group, 24 players will return to New Zealand, while the rest will join the T20 World Cup squad. The tournament in the UAE and Oman runs from 17 October to 14 November.

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