FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A Security Detail For The New Zealand Cricket Team?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows a security detail for the New Zealand cricket team.

Verdict: False

The photo shows a security detail for the Sri Lankan cricket team, not the New Zealand cricket team.

Fact Check:

The New Zealand national cricket team abruptly canceled plans to play a match in Pakistan earlier this month citing security concerns, according to The New York Times. The Pakistani Cricket Board criticized the pullout, claiming in a statement that it had made “foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams,” CNN reported.

Following news of the pullout, some Facebook and Twitter users have been sharing an image that shows dozens of vehicles filled with armed men, claiming it shows a Pakistani security detail the country provided to the New Zealand team on a previous occasion. “The security provided to NewZland team and still they doubted on the security,” reads the caption of one version shared on Facebook.

However, Check Your Fact discovered through a reverse image search that the image is from 2019 and shows the Sri Lankan cricket team surrounded by Pakistani security, not the New Zealand team. The picture is featured in a 2019 article from Tamil.news18.com, a Tamil language news channel, with a description that indicates it shows security for the team from Sri Lanka. “Extreme Security for the Sri Lankan team that went to Karachi ground,” reads a translated version of the article’s headline.

Check Your Fact also found a 2019 YouTube video shared by the verified account of the Sri Lankan cricket team that shows visuals similar to the one shared in the Facebook post. The video is titled, “Asantha De Mel speaks on Security provided to the ‘National Team’ in Pakistan.” (RELATED: Does This Image Show The US Women’s Soccer Team Kneeling During The National Anthem At The Tokyo Olympics?)

The Sri Lankan cricket team’s 2019 visit to Pakistan marked the first time any international cricket match had been played in the country in more than a decade, according to CNN. During a visit in 2009, a dozen gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team’s bus, leaving six Pakistani policemen and two civilians dead and seven players injured, the outlet reported.

The New Zealand team has not played in Pakistan since 2003, according to The New York Times.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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