‘We don’t need you’: Shoaib Akhtar hits back at New Zealand Cricket

Brashna Kasi
‘We don’t need you’ Shoaib Akhtar hits back at New Zealand Cricket / Photo: @shoaib100mph (Twitter)

Former Pakistani pacer has hit back at New Zealand Cricket for threatening to end Pakistan’s cricket team tour on Thursday.

Addressing people on his Youtube channel, the Rawalpindi Express condemned the behavior of New Zealand Cricket Board and their government towards Pakistan’s cricket touring party.

“We don’t need you, our cricket is not over,” the former pacer said in response to NZ govt issuing Pakistan cricket team a ‘last warning.’

Read: Pakistan players knew of Covid-19 protocols but breached anyway: New Zealand's health chief

According to NZC, six Pakistani players tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday morning after violating the SOPs. Post the incident, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) received a warning by New Zealand govt implying the consequences of further breaches, hinting at a possible termination of the tour, ESPNcricinfo reported.

Former Pakistani player did not take the news well and denounced the New Zealand authorities for making a ‘below the belt’ statement. “Behave yourself! It’s not a club team, its Pakistan’s national cricket team you’re talking about,” Akhtar hit back.

“You’ll get the money from broadcasting rights, not Pakistan; you should be indebted to us that we’re touring the country in these conditions,” he added.

The 45-year-old also criticized PCB for not investing enough on the tour. “Why PCB did not arrange a chartered flight for NZ tour like they did for England?” Akhtar asked.

“The team first went to Dubai, then Kuala Lampur and then Auckland. Obviously the players were going to contract the virus from somewhere,” he added.

Also suggesting players to follow the SOPs, the fast bowler said, “I understand it’s difficult but players should be careful, these are odd times.”

Akhtar said he was ‘deeply hurt’ and ‘frustrated’ by the humiliating statement. “If I was in PCB, I would’ve hit back with a stronger statement, saying we won’t play with you for five years,” he said. 

Read: Six Pakistani players test positive for Covid-19 in New Zealand

‘We don’t need you’: Shoaib Akhtar hits back at New Zealand Cricket