England withdraw from cricket series with Pakistan

PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja expresses disappointment with ECB's decision

10:25 PM | 20 Sep, 2021
England withdraw from cricket series with Pakistan

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Monday announced cancellation of England cricket team’s Pakistan tour.

The decision came a couple of days after the New Zealand cricket team pulled out of an ODI series against Pakistan at the last minute and ended the Pakistan tour unilaterally, citing unfounded security concerns.

In a statement issued here, the ECB said, "The ECB has a longstanding commitment to tour Pakistan as part of the Men's Future Tours Programme 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 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."

Responding to ECB’s decision, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PC) expressed its disappointment at the development.

PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja took to Twitter to express his disappointment with ECB’S decision. He wrote on Twitter, “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.”