“It was like a normal game day,” he said, speaking from his hotel room. “We were leaving at 12:30 pm and then I got a message on my WhatsApp group saying we had a team meeting at 12 pm. Everyone was sort of wondering what was going on and then we were told we were going It was an interesting decision 24 hours after that decision but obviously NZC and the Players Association, everyone on the ground in Pakistan and NZ Cricket obviously had player safety first and foremost. For them getting us to Dubai in 24 hours was exceptional so the guys were very grateful for that. “ The tour was canceled the day the first ODI was due to be played after what NZC CEO David White later said was a “specific and credible” threat to the tour, a threat that would not be shared. with PCB or Pakistan. authorities, a point which particularly annoyed the president of the PCB, Ramiz Raja, and the CEO Wasim Khan. Latham spoke of the “historic nature of the tour, 18 years after New Zealand’s last, and praised Pakistani authorities and the NZC for keeping player safety at the forefront.
“It is naturally very disappointing for them [Pakistan and their fans] ”Said Latham. “It was something they were very proud of. I remember going around the captain with Babar [Azam] the day before and see how happy he was to have international cricket and to have us there. He was very excited and it was a historic moment for New Zealand Cricket to be back there 18 years after their last visit. Being a part of it was going to be something special, but obviously things changed. NZC moved quickly with people on the ground in Pakistan. While we were there after the decision, the Pakistani authorities were brilliant. They kept us safe at the hotel and we certainly have to thank them. “
Latham also spoke of everyone’s relief in leaving Pakistan safely and heading to Dubai, and said the players were “looking forward to returning home”.
“We managed to get to Dubai 24 hours after the decision was made. For the guys, hooking up as a group and spending some time together was fun. It was a hectic 24 hours but we’re all good, the guys are in a good mood and we can’t wait to get back.
“It was a pretty hectic 24 hours once we found out we were going home. The guys handled everything in a slightly different way, but we stuck together as a group there during those 24 hours that we had in Islamabad. To be here and to be safe, the guys were certainly very happy to be here. “
New Zealand’s decision to step back from the tour has seen Pakistan’s home season, which is busier than it has been in over a decade, unfold quickly. The England and Wales Cricket Council announced days later that their men’s and women’s teams would also not perform as planned in October, citing the general well-being of players and ‘growing concerns about travel in the region ”, without citing any specific security threat. The prospect of a visit to Australia, due to be shot in March next year, also seems extremely remote.