Security at Tuesday’s third one-day international between England Women and New Zealand Women has been raised after the emergence of a “threatening email” relating to the tourists.
The game, at Leicestershire’s Uptonsteel County Ground, is due to go ahead as planned with a 1pm start after the threat was investigated and judged not to be credible.
A statement issued by a New Zealand Cricket spokesperson said the initial warning was delivered via the England and Wales Cricket Board.
“The ECB have received a threatening email relating to NZC. Although this did not specifically reference the White Ferns it was treated seriously, investigated, and deemed not credible,” a spokesperson for New Zealand said. “The White Ferns have now arrived in Leicester and, as a precaution, security around them has been boosted.”
The news follows decisions by both New Zealand Cricket and the England and Wales Cricket Board to cancel tours of Pakistan in the past few days. The New Zealand men’s team announced they would be leaving the country on Friday morning, the day of their series opener in Rawalpindi, following a “specific and credible threat”.
On Monday evening, England followed suit by announcing their withdrawal from a joint men’s and women’s tour to Pakistan next month. No specific security threat was cited by the ECB, but it noted “increasing concerns about travelling to the region” among its reasons.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has noted its disappointment with England for backing out of a trip they feel remains safe to undertake and with New Zealand for refusing to disclose the nature of the threat.
In a video shared by the PCB, new chair Ramiz Raja said: “I am very disappointed by England’s withdrawal but it was expected because this Western bloc gets united unfortunately and tries to back each other. You can take any decision on the basis of security threat and perception. But there’s a lesson for us. We go out of our way to accommodate and pamper these sides when they visit…from now on, we’ll tour only when it serves our interest.
“It can have a domino effect. It can hit the tour by West Indies, and Australia are already reconsidering their tour next year,” Raja added. “England, Australia, New Zealand – they are part of one bloc. Who can we complain to? We thought they were our own but they haven’t accepted us as theirs.”
Media reports suggested the PCB is facing a loss that could be anything between $15-25 million after the twin pullouts but Raja said he was determined to claim compensation from New Zealand Cricket. It is unlikely to escape the PCB’s attention if things go ahead as planned in Leicester, less than 24 hours after a security alert.
Heather Knight’s England side lead the five-match series 2-0 with three to play.