The Islamabad police on Sunday said that it was “fully equipped” to provide end-to-end “foolproof and world-class” security to the New Zealand cricket team during their forthcoming visit to Pakistan.
The Black Caps will land in the country next week for an upcoming white-ball series with the national side.
However, on Saturday, a Geo News report, quoting police sources, said that the Islamabad police had refused to provide security for the series due to a lack of resources.
While not specifically mentioning the report, the Islamabad police stated on Twitter that it had “flawlessly” provided the highest level of security during the visit of the English cricket team and the eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League.
“ICTP shall be playing a key role in the provision of flawless security in collaboration with other stakeholders in Islamabad and Rawalpindi,” it added. The statement was attributed to Islamabad IGP Dr Akbar Nasir Khan.
The inability to provide security due to scarce resources has also been cited as the reasoning for the ECP’s short-lived decision to delay the elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Shaheen returns to the side
Shaheen Afridi has been named in Pakistan’s squad for their Twenty20 and one-day international series against New Zealand.
Afridi has not played for Pakistan since exacerbating a knee injury during last year’s Twenty20 World Cup final in Australia on Nov. 13.
The 22-year-old missed subsequent series against New Zealand and England, but returned to competitive cricket in the Pakistan Super League, playing a starring role in last month’s final to spur Lahore Qalandars to their second title.
Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, who were rested for last month’s T20 series against Afghanistan, also return to the squad.
According to a schedule issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board, the first three games will be played in Lahore from April 14-17. The teams then move to Rawalpindi for the last two T20s and the opening One-day International of the five-match series, which culminates in Karachi on May 7.
NZ-Pak series schedule
April 14: First T20I, Lahore
April 15: Second T20I, Lahore
April 17: Third T20I, Lahore
April 20: Fourth T20I, Rawalpindi
April 24: Fifth T20I, Rawalpindi
April 26: First ODI, Rawalpindi
April 30: Second ODI, Karachi
May 3: Third ODI, Karachi
May 5: Fourth ODI, Karachi
May 7: Fifth ODI, Karachi