ISLAMABAD: The cricket boards of New Zealand and Pakistan have reached an agreement according to which the former will compensate the latter for the Kiwis pulling out of a Pakistan tour at the last minute in 2021, cricket website ESPNcricinfo reported this week.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) made headlines around the world in September 2021 when it decided to abandon its tour of Pakistan minutes before the first One Day International (ODI) between the two sides was scheduled to be played in Rawalpindi.
The NZC cited a "specific and credible" security threat for pulling its players out of the white-ball tour. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) expressed its displeasure at the NZC’s decision, demanding compensation for broadcasting, logistics and security expenses for the tour.
The English cricket team followed suit, abandoning its short tour of Pakistan after New Zealand’s decision. The withdrawals were seen as a setback to Pakistan’s efforts to resume international cricket at home after a deadly attack by militants on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2019 kept international cricket away from Pakistan’s shores for several years.
“New Zealand have come to an agreement to compensate Pakistan for pulling out of a bilateral series last year,” ESPNcricinfo said.
“It involves New Zealand Cricket paying an undisclosed amount to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), as well as agreeing to play extra games when the two sides meet in Pakistan next year,” it added.
New Zealand is scheduled to tour Pakistan to play two Tests and three ODIs in December/January 2022-23 as part of the Future Tours Programme and are expected to return to the country in April 2023 for 10 white-ball matches.
“ESPNcricnfo understands the issue has been resolved although neither board has made any official public pronouncement on the matter,” added ESPNcricinfo.
After New Zealand’s withdrawal from Pakistan, the PCB successfully hosted the West Indies in December for a cricket series and also managed to hold a season of the domestic Pakistan Super League featuring numerous international cricket stars.
In April this year, Pakistan hosted Australia for a historic all-format series for the first time in over two decades.