Cricket: Blackcaps in good spirits, 'looking forward to heading home' after Pakistan scare

Stand-in Blackcaps captain Tom Latham insists the team are fine and in good spirits, despite the anxiety over their cancelled series against Pakistan.

On Friday, New Zealand's first tour to Pakistan since 2003 abruptly ended, after a "credible threat" was alerted on the morning of their opening one-day international at Rawalpindi.

With the security risk too great, the series was abandoned and the team departed Pakistan for Dubai on Sunday morning.

Of the 34 players and staff currently in Dubai, 24 will head home for their managed isolation quarantine on Tuesday, while the remaining 10 will link with the Blackcaps side for the Twenty20 World Cup in the UAE next month.

Before departing for home, Latham has updated media on his team's state of mind after the ordeal.

"I'm good, the guys are good," Latham says. "It was a hectic 24 hours, after the decision was made. 

"For the guys to connect as a group and spend a bit of time together was nice.

"We're all good, guys are in good spirits and we're looking forward to heading home.

"For us to be here and to be safe, the guys were very pleased to get here."

Latham also spoke of his disappointment for Pakistan, who have been denied another chance to host international cricket in their own country.

Pakistan were unable to host test cricket from 2009-19, after an attack on the Sri Lankan team left six players injured, as well as six police officers and two civilians dead.

The nation hosted just a handful of limited-overs internationals over that decade, before test cricket returned in 2019.

But the cancelled New Zealand series could prove another backwards step for Pakistan, with England cancelling upcoming men's and women's tours, and Australia expected to follow suit. 

"Naturally, it's very disappointing for them," Latham adds. "To have cricket back in their country was something they were very proud of. 

"I remember doing the captain's run with Babar [Azam] the day before, and just seeing how happy he was to have international cricket and have us there. He was obviously very excited. 

"I guess it was a historic moment, as well, for New Zealand cricket to be back there, 18 years since they were last there. To be part of that was going to be something special, but obviously things changed.

"While we were there after the decision, the Pakistan authorities were brilliant. They kept us safe and we were safe at the hotel.

"We certainly thank them."

As well as the Blackcaps' security concerns, the White Ferns women were also alerted to a bomb threat made against the team in England.

That threat has since been deemed 'not credible' by the team's management.