LAHORE, SEPT 18: A day after the Black Caps abandoned their Pakistan tour, newly appointed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja on Saturday called on players to channel their frustration into their performance.
In a video message, the PCB chairman said: “Release your frustration and anger by channeling it towards your performance.”
Once you become a world-class team, people will start lining up to play, he said.
“Everyone will want to play against you. So I want us to learn from this, move forward and keep strong. There is no need to be disappointed.”
He said that he understood that international and domestic cricket in Pakistan had been put under pressure. “But we will do whatever we can and you will soon get to hear good news and results.”
He said that the cricket team had to now become a world-class team so that it can overcome such challenges with ease and move forward.
Addressing cricket fans, Raja said that he understood their pain over the cancellation of the matches.
“It is a shared pain and whatever happened is not right for Pakistani cricket,” he said, calling the situation an “unfortunate scenario”.
However, he urged fans not to lose hope. “We have experienced such situations in the past but we have always moved forward. We have a lot of resilience and strength, and that is because of the fans and the cricket team,” he said.
If there is a situation where international cricket is under pressure in Pakistan, we will overcome it, he said. “Even if we don’t manage to overcome it, we have enough confidence that we can create a world-class team while [playing] at a domestic level.”
He urged cricket fans to continue supporting the sport and the country’s team, especially in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup.
On Friday, the New Zealand cricket team had backed out of its tour of Pakistan over security concerns minutes before the first match was scheduled to start at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium — a move that had shocked fans and officials.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said Pakistan had been “wonderful hosts” but added that player safety was “paramount”. However, it did not comment on the details of the security threat.
According to the PCB, Pakistan had “foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams” and had “assured NZC of the same”.
The PCB said that the New Zealand team had been satisfied with the security arrangements throughout their stay, adding that cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world were “disappointed” by the last minute withdrawal.
The New Zealand cricket team had arrived in Pakistan on September 11 for the first time in 18 years to play three ODIs and five Twenty20 Internationals.
The ODI series against New Zealand was supposed to be played at the Rawalpindi Stadium, with matches scheduled for Sept 17, 19, and 21, while the Gaddafi Stadium was slated to host five T20s from Sept 25 to Oct 3.