The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced that it will not be sending men’s and women’s teams to Pakistan later this year. The board cited increasing concerns about travelling to the region as behind the decision, without going into details. England is the second nation to cancel plans for a Pakistan tour after New Zealand last week.
“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 cricket body said in a statement on Monday.
Pakistan was a no-go zone for international cricket teams for a decade after terrorists attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009. The ambush killed seven people and injured several Sri Lankan cricketers. International teams resumed touring Pakistan in 2019.
“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,” it added.
ECB said there is the added complexity for our Men’s T20 squad as touring under “these conditions” will not be ideal preparation for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
“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.”
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