New Zealand players paid their tribute by hand-writing Phil Hughes' initials on their   whites © Getty Images
New Zealand players paid their tribute by hand-writing Phil Hughes’ initials on their whites © Getty Images

Karachi: Nov 29, 2014

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had to contact its New Zealand counterpart in order to convince the Kiwi team to continue with its series in the United Arab Emirates following the tragic death of Australian batsman Phil Hughes.

A well informed source in the PCB told PTI on Saturday that after the news of Hughes death in a Sydney hospital become known early Thursday morning the New Zealand players were reluctant to continue with the series.

“Understandably some of their players informed their management they were badly disturbed and shocked by Hughes death and were not in a state of mind to continue with the tour,” he said.

The source said that initially the PCB itself had decided to have a one hour’s delay to the start of the second day’s play in the third Test presently being played in Sharjah.

“But when the manager of the Pakistan team, Moin Khan contacted the board officials with the news that the New Zealand players were reluctant to even continue with the series, the senior PCB officials had to speak to their counterparts in New Zealand,” the source said.

He said it was only after the PCB pointed out to the CNZ that the board would suffer huge financial losses if the series was abandoned that they then convinced their players the series must go on.

“But the New Zealand players insisted that as a mark of respect the second day’s play should be postponed to which the PCB and Pakistan team management also agreed,” the source added.

New Zealand’s coach confirmed on Saturday that when the third Test did resume on Friday his players had deliberately avoided bowling any short pitched balls and bouncers in the Pakistan first innings as a mark of respect to Hughes.

In May, 2002 also the New Zealand team had abandoned a tour to Pakistan after a suicide bomb blast at a five star hotel just opposite to the hotel they were staying in at Karachi killed several French and Pakistani naval personel.

Complete coverage of Phil Hughes’ tragic demise