Ground Report | New Delhi: England cancels Pakistan tour; The England Cricket Board (ECB) decided to cancel their tour of Pakistan after New Zealand pulled their team out at the last minute ahead of their series due to “security” concerns. Out of the historic men’s and women’s tours of Pakistan next month.
Following the sudden withdrawal of New Zealand’s men’s squad minutes before the start of the One Day International series in Rawalpindi last week, the ECB board took the decision after consulting on the security situation in the country.
In a statement, the ECB also cited the governing body’s responsibility for the mental health of its players and the impact the tour could have on preparations for the T20 World Cup. No specific mention was made of the player’s safety or security concerns, and the board spoke of apologizing to the PCB and cricket fans in Pakistan.
England cancels Pakistan tour
The England men were due to play two T20Is in Rawalpindi on 13 and 14 October, while the women were to play a total of six white-ball matches during their brief stay in the area.
The men’s tour would be England’s first tour of Pakistan since 2006, while the women had never played a competitive match in the country.
An ECB statement read: “The ECB Board convened this weekend to discuss these additional England women’s and men’s games in Pakistan and we can confirm that the Board has reluctantly removed both teams from the October visit.”
Mental and physical well-being of players
“The mental and physical well-being of our players and support staff remains our top priority and it is even more important in the time we are currently living in. We know and believe there are growing concerns about this field trip. The move is to put further pressure on a playing group that has already faced long periods of operating in a restricted COVID environment.
“There is additional complexity for our men’s T20 squad. We believe that touring in these conditions would not be ideal preparation for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, where doing well is a top priority for 2021.