ECB on Monday have decided that they will not be sending their men’s and women’s cricket team to Pakistan in October. England have made their mind three days after New Zealand called off their tour to Pakistan citing security reasons. Since then, it was quite obvious that England will call off the series as well because both the country’s avails the services of the security consultant-ESI risk.
England’s men’s team were scheduled to play two T20I matches at Rawalpindi on Oct 13 and 14th while their women’s team was due to stay for three more ODI matches as well.
“Earlier this year, we agreed to play two additional T20 World Cup warm-up games in Pakistan in October, adding a short women’s tour with double headers alongside the men’s games,” an official ECB statement said.
“The ECB Board convened this weekend to discuss these extra England Women’s and Men’s games in Pakistan and we can confirm that the Board has reluctantly decided to withdraw both teams from the October trip.”
“The mental and physical well-being of our players and support staff remains our highest priority and this is even more critical given the times we are currently living in. We know there are increasing concerns about travelling to the region and believe that going ahead will add further pressure to a playing group who have already coped with a long period of operating in restricted Covid environments.
ECB also felt that the tour to Pakistan will not be an ideal preparation for the upcoming ICC T20 World which is scheduled to take place in October in UAE and Oman.
“There is the added complexity for our Men’s T20 squad. We believe that touring under these conditions will not be ideal preparation for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, where performing well remains a top priority for 2021.
The ECB apologized to PCB as they understood that Pakistan were trying to resume full-fledged tours in their country. They have also assured to tour to Pakistan in 2022.
“We understand that this decision will be a significant disappointment to the PCB, who have worked tirelessly to host the return of international cricket in their country. Their support of English and Welsh cricket over the last two summers has been a huge demonstration of friendship. We are sincerely sorry for the impact this will have on cricket in Pakistan and emphasise an ongoing commitment to our main touring plans there for 2022.”
PCB’s newly elected chairman Ramiz Raja was utterly disappointed by England’s decision to call off the tour.
“Disappointed with England, pulling out of their commitment & failing a member of their Cricket fraternity when it needed it most. Survive we will inshallah,” Ramiz Raja tweeted.