Tom Latham disappointed at NZ’s Pakistan pullout

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KARACHI: New Zealand’s stand-in skipper Tom Latham on Tuesday expressed disappointment at missing a “historic moment” after his team was forced to abandon their first cricket tour of Pakistan in 18 years.

The Kiwis called off the tour over a security threat on Friday — an equivalent day they were thanks to playing the primary One-day International in Rawalpindi.

“To be a part of that was getting to be something special, but obviously things changed, and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) acted pretty swiftly alongside the people on the bottom in Pakistan,” said Latham in an interview released by NZC.

Latham said his counterpart, Pakistan captain Babar Azam, had been very excited about the tour.

“To have cricket back in their country was something that they were very pleased with. I remember doing the captain’s run with Babar the day before and seeing how happy he was to possess international cricket and to possess us there.

“It was a historic moment also for brand spanking new Zealand Cricket to be back there, 18 years since they were last there.”

But the New Zealand squad was whisked off to Dubai on Saturday.

Latham said it had been a confusing series of events.

“Everyone was kind of wondering what was up, then we got told the news that we might be heading home.

“It was a stimulating 24 hours post that call, but obviously NZC, the players’ association, everyone on the bottom in Pakistan obviously had our players’ safety first and foremost.

“For them to act so swiftly and to urge us out here to Dubai was outstanding. I do know the blokes were very thankful for that.”

Latham said the squad had been taken care of well in Pakistan.

“While we were there after the choice, the Pakistan authorities were brilliant, they kept us safe, we were safe at the hotel, and that we certainly thank them.”

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