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New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has said that Pakistan is a 'special place' for cricket and hopes the cancellation of the tour by the Kiwis doesn't have a lasting impact on the hosts.
"They were obviously over there, ready to go to the ground. It is a sudden thing that happened. I certainly hope there is no lasting impact from it because it is a special place for cricket to be and there have been a lot of strides forward to see cricket go back into Pakistan and play there safely. We have seen that happen on a number of occasions, so hopefully, there is plenty more cricket there to come," Williamson was quoted as saying by the Sportstar.
The 31-year-old right-handed batsman, who is leading Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, added that the decision to pull out was not players' alone and rested with the government.
"You want to be playing the game in all countries. It is an international game and there is so much passion for it around the world, particularly in Pakistan. It was really exciting to see the series go back there and I know our team was looking forward to it. Players' safety is paramount and when you hear messages going through from the government, it is certainly above the players' heads," Williamson said further.
"I don't know the details [of pullout]. It was a sudden call, but obviously, a real shame. Cricket in Pakistan is an amazing thing and so well supported. There is so much passion there and I think the guys will be gutted to not have started and playing the whole series. But I am not sure of the details since I am in Dubai for the IPL. I will find out a bit more about it over the next few days," Williamson added.
New Zealand changed their mind about the tour just before the first ODI was to start at Rawalpindi against Pakistan after being alerted to a security threat.
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