Babar's happiness, sudden meeting - Latham recalls leaving Pakistan

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21 Sep 2021 | 01:25 PM
authorcricket.com staff

Babar's happiness, sudden meeting - Latham recalls leaving Pakistan

New Zealand skipper Tom Latham recapped the events before and after the Black Caps abandoned their Pakistan tour

New Zealand captain Tom Latham empathized with the disappointment Pakistan players, fans and cricket officials are feeling as he recapped the events that led to the Black Caps abandoning their limited-overs series.

Latham recalled how happy Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was to see cricket being played in the country after a long gap.

"To have cricket back in their country was something that they were very proud of," Latham said in an interview with New Zealand Cricket. "I remember doing the captain's run with Babar [Azam, the Pakistan captain] the day before and seeing how happy he was to have international cricket and to have us there.

"He was very excited, and it was a historic moment as well for New Zealand Cricket to be back there, 18 years since they were last there. To be part of that was going to be something special, but obviously things changed, and New Zealand Cricket acted pretty swiftly along with the people on the ground in Pakistan.

The southpaw praised the authorities for keeping the contingent safe from the time they arrived in the country to boarding flight to Dubai.

"While we were there after the decision the Pakistan authorities were brilliant, they kept us safe, we were safe at the hotel, and we certainly thank them."

Latham revealed that the team was informed about the abandonment and their departure only in the afternoon on the day of the first ODI in Rawalpindi when they were summoned for an unscheduled team meeting.

"It was like a normal game day. We were leaving at 12:30, and then I got a message on my WhatsApp group that we were having a team meeting at 12 o'clock. Everyone was sort of wondering what was up, and then we got told the news that we would be heading home," he said.

"It was an interesting 24 hours post that decision, but obviously New Zealand Cricket, the players' association, [and] everyone on the ground in Pakistan obviously had our players' safety first and foremost. For them to act so swiftly and to get us out here to Dubai was outstanding. I know the guys were very thankful for that."

Currently in Dubai, Latham said that the team is in good spirits after reaching and are looking forward to see their families again.

"The guys dealt with it all slightly differently, but we stayed tight as a group over there and just spent time together, just bouncing off each other, in the 24 hours we had still in Islamabad," Latham told in an interview with New Zealand Cricket.

"For us to be here and to be safe, the guys were certainly very pleased to get here[Dubai]. Some guys are staying here, some guys are heading home, but it will be nice to get home and see all the families. For them it's been a little bit stressful as well, in terms of finding out the news. Once we got here I think they were pretty relieved,"

New Zealand's decision also led to the England and Wales Cricket Board cancelling their series in Pakistan scheduled later this year. Earlier in the day, Pakistan Cricket Board alleged Western bias towards their country and said it will seek ICC's intervention to compensate for their losses.


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