New Zealand postpone cricket tour of Pakistan over security concerns

New Zealand postponed its cricket tour of Pakistan on Friday over security concerns that mystified the hosts, just before the Black Caps’ first scheduled match in Pakistan in 18 years.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said New Zealand Cricket informed it that “they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series.”

The PCB said Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke personally to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and informed her “we have one of the best intelligence systems in the world and that no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team.”

New Zealand Cricket’s own security team cleared Rawalpindi and Lahore last month for the tour of three one-day internationals — the first on Friday — and five Twenty20s.

“The Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand Cricket of the same,” the PCB said.