Ahead of their ICC T20 World Cup 2021 encounter against Pakistan on Tuesday (October 26), New Zealand captain Kane Williamson admitted that their last-minute withdrawal from the Pakistan tour due to security fears was “a real shame”, but hopes they will not hold any grudges over the issue.
Last month, New Zealand pulled out of their Pakistan tour minutes before the start of their first ODI in Rawalpindi, citing a security alert, leaving the players and Pakistan cricket board (PCB) fumed and in shock and demanded revenge in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
Well, Pakistan and New Zealand are all set to meet in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021 in Sharjah on Tuesday, and Williamson insisted that the match will be played in the right spirit and that players from both teams will remain in “good relations” with each other.
Williamson told reporters ahead of their T20 World Cup opener: “It was a really disappointing situation. I know the team that was there were very much looking forward to the occasion and playing cricket over in Pakistan, and it was a real shame that it wasn’t able to go ahead.”
He added, “But there are also a lot of good relations within the two teams. Over the years they’ve played a lot against each other, and a number of players have played with each other as well.”
On Pakistan’s 10-wicket win over India, Kane said: “It was a fantastic performance. I think Pakistan has come to the T20 World Cup full of confidence, having played in these conditions more than most. They certainly put it on the show last night and showed why they’re one of the favorites in the competition.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan bowling coach Vernon Philander said that the Men in Green should not get carried away after the historic win over India in Dubai.
He stated, “We had a meeting earlier and we highlighted the importance of staying grounded. Today’s talk was really about putting last night behind us and focusing on what’s obviously to come tomorrow.”
Philander signed off by saying, “Tomorrow’s going to be another big game. And hopefully, the boys will reset and be ready and focused for tomorrow. I’m sure it’ll be played in the right spirit, but no doubt Pakistan will be well supported, as they always are here in the UAE.”