England has officially pulled out of their men’s and women’s tours to Pakistan. ECB released an official statement on Monday stating that they have to reluctantly pull out of the tour. This comes just three days after New Zealand abandoned their limited-overs tour of Pakistan in the 11th hour, citing security concerns.
“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 statement said.
"We can confirm that the Board has reluctantly decided to withdraw both teams from the October trip."
🇵🇰 #PAKvENG 🏴
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 20, 2021
England has stated that they put the player’s mental health and well-being above everything else. The board is prioritising the players and staff’s mental health and well-being as they have been under a lot of stress in recent times.
“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 traveling 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,” the statement said.
We are sincerely sorry for the impact it will have on Pakistan cricket – England Cricket Board
ECB acknowledged PCB’s efforts to organise the tour and bring international cricket back to Pakistan. They offered their apologies and assured them that they will surely be touring 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,” the statement added.
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