The England Cricket Board (ECB) on Monday decided to cancel its Pakistan tour next month citing security concerns. The decision comes three days after New Zealand Cricket backed out of the series to be played in Pakistan after their government received an alert of a possible attack outside the Rawalpindi Stadium.
“We can confirm that the Board has reluctantly decided to withdraw both teams from the October trip.” said England Cricket Board while announcing the cancellation of its Pakistan tour.
"We can confirm that the Board has reluctantly decided to withdraw both teams from the October trip."— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 20, 2021
🇵🇰 #PAKvENG 🏴
“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.” it added.
“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.” continued England Cricket Board.
“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.” the ECB concluded.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja expressed disappointment over the decision taken by England Cricket Board to cancel its Pakistan tour. “Disappointed with England, pulling out of their commitment & failing a member of their Cricket fraternity when it needed it most,” said Raja on Twitter.
“Survive we will inshallah. A wake up call for Pak team to become the best team in the world for teams to line up to play them without making excuses.” he added.
Disappointed with England, pulling out of their commitment & failing a member of their Cricket fraternity when it needed it most. Survive we will inshallah. A wake up call for Pak team to become the best team in the world for teams to line up to play them without making excuses.— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) September 20, 2021
It bears mentioning that England has not played international cricket in Pakistan since 2005 while the women were set to visit for the first time. They were due to play three ODIs as well as two T20s.
Read more: New Zealand Calls Off Pakistan Tour.