ISLAMABAD: The New Zealand cricket team abandoned the Pakistan tour after the New Zealand government received an alert from the “Five Eyes” intelligence group.
The security threat issued by an intelligence alliance of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, advised the visitors to quit the series and leave the country as per the orders.
The New Zealand Cricket said the alert was deemed credible as it led to phone calls between the prime ministers of two countries while the officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board, New Zealand Cricket also exchanged their views on the shocking development.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand cricket team left Pakistan for Dubai on a chartered flight on Saturday.
The Kiwi players and officials underwent rapid Covid-19 tests at the Islamabad International Airport. They were allowed to board the flight after all the reports came negative amid tight security protocols.
The team reached the airport at 8:10 pm after being escorted by a presidential level security team. Special security units had taken control of the route between the hotel and the airport.
The Kiwi team stayed at the state guest lounge at the airport, where they went through a rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for Covid-19 before the departure. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had given special permission to the chartered plane, which landed at the airport after a two-hour delay.
Following the New Zealand team departure, Pakistan now faces the risk of further tour cancellations. England said they would decide on next month’s tours for their men’s and women’s teams by Sunday (today).
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia also said they were monitoring the situation and gathering information from security experts before deciding to tour Pakistan in February and March next year.
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