Decision to pull out of Pakistan tour was out of our hands: Gary Stead

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safari
26 Sep 2021 | 08:19 AM
authorcricket.com staff

Decision to pull out of Pakistan tour was out of our hands: Gary Stead

New Zealand were to play three ODIs and five T20Is in Pakistan, but the tour did not go ahead due to a 'security threat'

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead has said that the decision to pull out of the Pakistan tour was out of their hands and despite the outrage by PCB chairman Ramiz Raja, he expects his players to treat the T20 World Cup opener against Pakistan like any other match.

Recently, New Zealand had decided to abandon their tour of Pakistan there was a security threat warning issued by their government. As a result, the Blackscaps' first tour of Pakistan since 2003 never got underway. "That decision was out of our hands," Stead was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz.

The players are currently in Dubai, one of the venues for the upcoming World Cup, which will be hosed in the UAE and Oman. "... Guys are now in Dubai and getting ready, and there's the IPL that they can have a good look at, which in many ways is good preparation for them as well," Stead added.

Stead further mentioned that five of the players who were part of the T20I series against Pakistan are currently training under batting coach Thilan Samaraweera in the UAE, while the others, including Adam Milne who is on the reserves are playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

"I think they're okay. It was obviously unsettling and disappointing what happened in Pakistan and we certainly feel for the Pakistan cricket fraternity and fans," Stead said.

In the run-up to the World Cup, New Zealand have warmup matches lined up against Australia on October 18, and England two days later, before their opener against Pakistan in Sharjah on October 27. PCB chairman Ramiz Raja said the only way to overcome this disappointment is to become the world's best by beating the other nations, including New Zealand in the T20 World Cup, two days after their opener against arch-rival India. Raja had warned that the Black Caps will "hear from us" in the ICC.

"We had one team in our target, our neighbours (India), now add two more teams, New Zealand and England," Raja had said, referring to England's withdrawal from a tour next month soon after New Zealand's departure. Stead, however, backed his team to shut out the hype and noise around the recent pullout when it plays Pakistan in the mega-event.

"Certainly, being that it's Pakistan, people will hype that up, but for us, it's no different to any other match we play against them," Stead said.

At the last T20 World Cup in India in 2016, Kane Williamson's side lost to England in the semifinals and this time have a tough group including Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and two other qualifiers.

(With inputs from PTI)

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