New Delhi: Following the gruesome terrorist attack in a Peshawar school on Tuesday, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday said that they couldn't afford their matches abroad to be disturbed.
Pakistan are hosting New Zealand in a series involving five Tests, two T20s and five ODIs. The fourth ODI, scheduled for Wednesday, goes ahead on as planned despite Pakistani team expressing their solidarity with the bereaved families.
The Taliban attack in Peshawar, which took lives of more than 130 students, have once again put the spectre of terror in focus.
In a press release, the PCB condemned the attack and however, said that the fourth ODI match between Pakistan and New Zealand will go ahead due to broadcast commitments.
We tried our best to postpone the 4th ODI but were constrained by the broadcasters commitment as well as for cricketing reasons advised by the New Zealand management,” the release said.
It also said that, if they give in to such attacks, their future will be lost.
“We are playing outside Pakistan only because of the threat of terrorism at home. If we allow terrorists to disrupt our matches abroad, then all will be lost,” it read.
“So we have decided to go ahead with the match and our players will wear black armbands in grief and observe a minute's silence and flags will be lowered.”
The proceeds from the match will go to the families of the victims and for the rebuilding of the school, the release confirmed.
Earlier, veteran batsman Younis Khan described the attack as a national tragedy. “It is a national tragedy and a barbaric act. Playing the match is going to be very difficult," he said.
Talking to a Pakistani television channel, the 37-year-old also brought back Phillip Hughes tragedy which disturbed the sporting world.
"How do you play a match when your spirit is not in the game? That is our state of mind right now... When Phil Hughes died it shocked every one of us and we postponed a day's play in the Test match against New Zealand," he added.
He also felt that postponing the fourth ODI would at least allow them to show respect to the victims. "It would not be a bad idea to postpone this game as well," he said.
Pakistan have been forced to adopt neutral venues to play their home matches following terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.
With agency inputs