No tension around World T20 opener against Pakistan: NZ coach

New Zealand coach Gary Stead on Wednesday played down suggestions of any tension around their Twenty20 World Cup opener against Pakistan after the Black Caps recently abandoned their limited-overs tour of the South Asian country citing a “security alert’.


New Zealand's withdrawal dealt a massive blow to Pakistan's hopes of staging regular international cricket in the country. England also followed suit and withdrew from the men’s and women’s tours as well.


New Zealand face former champions Pakistan in their opening Group 2 match on Oct. 26 in Sharjah and Stead said his side were focused only on that.


“Obviously, what happened in Pakistan was sad for Pakistan cricket, their players and also our players, who missed out on that opportunity as well. We can't change what has happened there. All we can do is prepare for the tournament and we face Pakistan first up.”