Five Eyes' security alert caused NZ cricket board to cancel Pak tour: Report
ANI | Updated: Sep 19, 2021 09:47 IST
Wellington [New Zealand], September 19 (ANI): A global intelligence alliance issued the security alert which led to the cancellation of the New Zealand cricket tour to Pakistan, The New Zealand Herald reported.
Citing overseas media, the publication said the intelligence came from "Five Eyes", an intelligence alliance of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the US and the UK. The report stated that the threat issued by Five Eyes prompted phone the call between Pakistan and New Zealand Prime Ministers Imran Khan and Jacinda Ardern. Earlier on Friday, Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had claimed that there is a "conspiracy" behind the cancellation of New Zealand's cricket tour to Pakistan.
New Zealand, who were set to play their first match on Pakistan soil since 2003, on Friday informed that they are abandoning their tour following a government security alert.
"However, following an escalation in the New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan, and advice from NZC security advisors on the ground, it has been decided the BLACKCAPS will not continue with the tour," NZC said in a statement on Friday.
Later on Sunday, NZC chief executive David White said they were faced with no option but to abandon the tour after receiving advice from the New Zealand government of a specific, credible threat.
"What I can say is that we were advised this was a specific and credible threat against the team. We had several conversations with New Zealand government officials before making the decision and it was after informing the PCB of our position that we understand a telephone discussion was conducted between the respective Prime Ministers," said White in an official statement.
Rashid Ahmed, during a presser in Islamabad on Friday, refused to name the country responsible for the conspiracy, Dawn newspaper reported. However, he termed the cancellation "an attempt to damage our efforts for peace in the region".
The minister said the New Zealand team's security in-charge spoke to government officials and informed them of a threat. When the Pakistani officials asked for details, the NZ security in charge "did not have any", Ahmed added.
Reacting to the cancellation, newly-elected Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja lashed out at New Zealand Cricket (NZC) for taking a 'unilateral approach' on security a threat. (ANI)