England withdraws from Pakistan tour

England has withdrawn from the Men’s and women’s tours to Pakistan citing the security reasons slated to be held in October. It is quite shocking for the Pakistan cricket board as England is the second team to have withdrawn from the Pakistan tour. New Zealand is the first team that pulled out of the Pakistan tour in the limited series at the last hour citing security concerns. 

“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,” an official ECB statement said.

“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.”

It was reported that misgiving started popping up just after New Zealand pulled out of the Pakistan tour. ECB convened a board meeting where the final decision was taken to pull out of the Pakistan tour. This decision was taken keeping in mind the safety and mental stress of the players and other staff who have already gone through a lot in the covid-induced bio-bubble. 

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.

The England cricket board also clarified that the England tour of Pakistan will not be the ideal preparation for the T20 World cup as players need time to recuperate from the stress created by the Covid-induced bubble. 

“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.

England Cricket Board recognized and appreciated the efforts Pakistan Cricket Board made for making the arrangements for successful completion of the England tour of Pakistan. They also expressed regret for canceling the tour. The ECB made a commitment to resume matches 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 emphasize an ongoing commitment to our main touring plans there for 2022.”