After New Zealand exit, England cancels Pakistan tour over 'concerns about travelling to the region'

Barely a week after New Zealand pulled the plug on a bilateral series with Pakistan citing security concerns, now England has decided against sending its women's and men's teams to the country in October.

The back-to-back pullouts by international teams have left the Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan embarrassed and fuming.

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In a statement, the ECB said that even though it had agreed upon playing two T20 World Cup warm-up games in Pakistan and added a short women's tour in October, the Board said that it could not ignore increasing concerns about travelling to the region.

Stating that it attached the highest priority to the mental and physical well-being of its players and support staff, the ECB said that going ahead with the Pakistan tour in October would put additional pressure on team members who have already coped with a long period of playing in restricted Covid environments.

The ECB also pointed out that touring under these conditions will not be ideal preparation for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup which is scheduled to be played in October.

Apologising for the significant disappointment that its decision would cause for the Pakistan Cricket Board, the ECB said that it was committed to a series tour to the country in 2022.

PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja slammed the decision by the ECB to pull out of the October tour.

In a video statement, Raja said he was disappointed with England for failing a member of their cricket fraternity when it needed it the most.

In the nearly 5 minute video, Raja said that even though New Zealand left citing a security threat, it did not specify the nature of the threat.

The PCB chief called upon his cricket team to avenge this betrayal by New Zealand and England in the T20 World Cup.

from asianetnews

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