Following the dramatic events among PCB and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) last week, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has withdrawn from the scheduled Pakistan tour. Few anticipated England to travel to the shores after New Zealand finally stopped their visit shortly before the 1st ODI, claiming a serious risk to their team.
The ECB made a notice announcing that they had “reluctantly” chosen to cancel the trip. Following PCB’s visit to the UK during the previous season to practically rescue their summer in COVID times, few former Pakistan players asked England to tour the region. However, England has withdrawn from both the Men’s and Women’s tours, citing “growing worries about visiting the region.”
“The ECB has a longstanding commitment to tour Pakistan as part of the Men’s Future Tours Program in 2022. 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”.
“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 statement from the ECB read.
“We can confirm that the Board has reluctantly decided to withdraw both teams from the October trip.”
🇵🇰 #PAKvENG 🏴
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 20, 2021
We understand that this decision will be a significant disappointment to the PCB, says ECB
The ECB stressed that the players’ safety is their top priority and that they do not want to travel to Pakistan in such situations, especially with the T20 World Cup coming up shortly. The board also apologized to PCB and also thanked them for touring England during the pandemic.
“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”.
“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”.
“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 statement added.