2.30pm Oh! The entire tour has been abandoned because of security concerns. You'll find all the details here.
According to an NZC release: "The side was to play Pakistan this evening in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi, before moving to Lahore for a five match T20 series. However, following an escalation in the New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan, and advice from NZC security advisors on the ground, it has been decided the BLACKCAPS will not continue with the tour. Arrangements are now being made for the team's departure."
This is from the PCB: "Earlier today, the New Zealand cricket board informed us that they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series.
"PCB and Govt of Pakistan made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured the New Zealand cricket board of the same. The Prime Minister spoke personally to the Prime Minister of New Zealand and informed her that we have one of the best Intelligence systems in the world and that no security threat of any kind exists for the visting team.
"The security officials with the NZ team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Govt of Pakistan throughout their stay here. PCB is willing to continue the scheduled matches. However, cricket lovers in Pakistan and world over will be disappointed by this last minute withdrawal."
Aditya: "OH NO!!! Just logged in to check the score and saw this :( Very disappointed as a cricket fan. Was really hoping that cricket would return to Pakistan. Disappointed"
2.05pm In normal circumstances, the toss would've taken place by now. There's still uncertainty in Pindi and we're awaiting an official update from the ground.
Muneeb Ullah: "@Muthu can you pleaseeee at least tell us what the heck is going on there?" --- We don't have an official update yet.
Naeem: " Whatever the reason may be, it's very sad and unfortunate for Pakistan cricket."
1.45pm Well, well.... there's a bit of chaos in Pindi. We're hearing that the players and support staff have been told to stay inside their rooms. Do stick with us for further updates from Pindi.
1.40pm Usually, the teams would be training by now, but looks like they haven't even reached the venue yet. No signs of spectators yet either, says Danyal Rasool from the Pindi Stadium.
Ahsan Butt: "Both these teams have the exact opposite performances in their last 5 ODIs: Pakistan (LLLWL) and NZ (WWWLW)"
Haris: "Pakistan should play Zahid Mehmood instead of Usman Qadir. The later gives better control and more suited to longer formats. Ideally I'd remove Shadab and play the other two but that's not happening."
Wicketkeeper-batter Tom Blundell has been sidelined from the ODI leg of the Pakistan tour, which means Tom Latham will continue to keep wicket for NZ. Latham says he's ready to embrace multiple roles for NZ. And here is Glenn Pocknall on working with Latham and Allen's progress. Allen is set to make his ODI debut this afternoon, as is his Wellington Firebirds team-mate Ravindra.
1.25pm Good afternoon, everyone, welcome to ESPNcricinfo's live ball-by-ball coverage of the ODI series opener between hosts Pakistan and New Zealand in Rawalpindi. Sure, this is just a standalone bilateral series taking place in the shadow of the IPL, but this is a big deal for Pakistan as NZ return to the country after 18 years. Danyal Rasool sets up the scene in the preview. I'm Deivarayan Muthu and I'll soon be joined by Hemant Brar to bring you all the thrills and spills from Rawalpindi.
|Babar Azam (c)||Batter|
|Abdullah Shafique||Top order Batter|
|Faheem Ashraf||Bowling Allrounder|
|Fakhar Zaman||Opening Batter|
|Iftikhar Ahmed||Middle order Batter|
|Imam-ul-Haq||Top order Batter|
|Khushdil Shah||Middle order Batter|
|Mohammad Haris||Middle order Batter|
|Mohammad Rizwan †||Wicketkeeper Batter|
|Saud Shakeel||Middle order Batter|
|Shaheen Shah Afridi||Bowler|
|Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium|
|Series result||3-match series level 0-0|
|Match number||ODI no. 004326a|
|Match days||17 September 2021 - daynight (50-over match)|