Kane Williamson hopes Pakistan won’t complain to New Zealand Leaving the tour over security concerns Last month, when they met in a Twenty20 World Cup match in Sharjah on Tuesday.
Pakistan cricket officials were let off, citing an unspecified security warning, after New Zealand’s tour was called off minutes before the start of the first one-day international in Rawalpindi.
Williamson, who was not part of the team in Pakistan as he was playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), spoke of a grudge match.
“There is a very good relationship between the two teams. Over the years they have played against each other a lot, and many players have played against each other as well,” Williamson said on the eve of the match.
“I am sure the game will be played in the right spirit.”
England too a week after leaving New Zealand Has taken back Their men’s and women’s teams have been pulled from the tour of Pakistan due to concerns about the physical and mental health of the players.
This prompted the newly-elected chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ramiz Raja to announce that New Zealand would be a target in the T20 World Cup.
“We had one team in our target, our neighbors (India), now add two more teams, New Zealand and England,” Raja said last month.
Williamson, who admitted that the decision to skip the tour was based on the advice of the New Zealand government, praised the Pakistan team.
“I think the focus now is on the T20 World Cup, and there is no doubt that Pakistan has some momentum after last night’s performance and is feeling very good about their cricket,” Williamson said.
Pakistan patted Arch-rivals India registered a 10-wicket win in the teams’ first Super 12 match in Dubai on Sunday.
Williamson termed Pakistan as ‘favourite’.
“Yeah, I mean, it was a great performance. I think Pakistan is full of confidence in the T20 World Cup, having played the most in these conditions,” he said.
“They definitely put it on the show last night and showed why they’re one of the favorites in the competition.”
Opener Mohammad Rizwan (79 not out) and captain Babar Azam (68 not out) eliminated the target in just 17.5 overs.
“Tomorrow I am sure they will be very strong again, so for us, it is focusing on the cricket we want to play and trying to adapt to the conditions.”
Pakistan can count on being well supported, having played most of their home matches in the United Arab Emirates in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009.
Williamson said Pakistan, ranked one place above New Zealand in T20Is, have a significant mix of youth and experience.
“They have a very well balanced side, and also a good mix between youth and experience with Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik in the middle order, who brings a lot of experience to the team.”
Williamson has declared himself fit after a recurrence of an elbow injury.
“My elbow is improving. This is just a work in progress. But I think overall it is showing improvement, which is good.”