New Zealand arrives home, thanks Pakistan authorities for keeping them safe

Filed on September 22, 2021
Tom Latham with Babar Azam. (AP)

New Zealand's withdrawal dealt a big blow to Pakistan's hopes of staging international cricket

New Zealand's cricket squad arrived home on Wednesday after abandoning its tour of Pakistan last week citing a security threat.

New Zealand's withdrawal dealt a massive blow to Pakistan's hopes of staging regular international cricket, with England subsequently calling off its men's and women's tours.

The 24-strong Black Caps squad landed in Auckland after flying from Dubai and will spend the next 14 days in mandatory Covid-19 hotel quarantine.

Tom Latham, New Zealand's stand-in captain for the cancelled tour, said the squad had a "hectic" 24 hours once it found out it was heading home.

"We managed to get to Dubai 24 hours after the decision was made," he told the team's in-house media channel.

"The guys dealt with it all slightly differently but we stayed tight as a group over there in those 24 hours we had in Islamabad."

The tour was called off on the day the first One-Day International was due to be played after a "specific and credible" threat directed at the New Zealand squad, New Zealand Cricket boss David White said.

Latham said it was "naturally very disappointing" for Pakistan and its fans.

"It was something they were very proud of," he said.

"It was an historic moment 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."

Latham thanked Pakistan authorities for keeping the squad safe.

"While we were there after the decision, the Pakistan authorities were brilliant," he said.

"We certainly need to thank them."

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