Despite widespread criticism, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has stayed firm in its decision to withdraw from the Pakistan trip. The Blackcaps and Pakistan were scheduled to play three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) in Rawalpindi and five Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) in Lahore, but they were forced to leave the country due to a security threat.

The New Zealand Cricket Players Association (NZCPA) has confirmed that a couple of its Pakistan-bound cricketers received death threats just weeks before their trip. The threats were received through social media and other methods, according to NZCPA chief executive Heath Mills, but were not regarded severe enough at the time.

“A few weeks before the tour, a couple of players got death threats. It was unusual, yet they received threats through social media and other channels. Our experts examined them for a while and came to the conclusion that they were not dangerous,”Mills stated after the Black Caps’ 34-member contingent, including 21 players, flew to Dubai from Islamabad after cancelling their three-week tour of Pakistan.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) responded angrily, saying it will appeal the decision, which was made minutes before the opening game on Friday, to the International Cricket Council (ICC), but Mills claimed the Black Caps’ decision was neither rushed nor excessive. “We haven’t overreacted, in my opinion. What we can say is that the security in Pakistan impressed us much. It was safe on the ground, in the hotel, and on the way to the airport. But we couldn’t have stayed much longer”,according to the NZCPA’s president.

The security inputs were provided by Five Eyes, the joint intelligence wing of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and were shared by the New Zealand government with the New Zealand Cricket (NZC), leading to the tourists abandoning the series.