Shoaib Akhtar criticizes NZ for abandoning series

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Islamabad

Former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar has criticized the New Zealand cricket authorities for abandoning the series unilaterally, saying Pakistan’s image has been hurt before the whole world.

“We stand firm with our government, the Paki-stan Cricket Board (PCB), our Army and security agencies,” said the Rawalpindi Express, while speaking to a private news channel.

Shoaib said that it was unfortunate for PCB Chief Ramiz Raja, who took over the reins of the board a few days ago.

“You have to understand that Pakistan’s image has been damaged. I am not con-cerned about Pakistan cricket at the moment, I care for the country’s image,” he said.

Former Pakistani fast-bowler Sikander Bakht lashed out at the New Zealand authorities, question-ing its “security alert” excuse to abandon the tour. “They practiced here for five days.

Not a single stone was hurled at them. Withdrawing at the last minute is very disappointing,” he said.

Bakht said Pakistan had facilitated countries around the world by playing Test matches in difficult conditions, in England and elsewhere. “We went the extra mile for them, we played Test matches for them. And they are the ones who hit us.—APP

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