ECB cancels men’s and women’s England tour in Pakistan
The England and Wales Cricket Council has abandoned its tour of Pakistan, citing “concerns over travel to the region”.
The England men’s team were scheduled to play two T20Is in Pakistan ahead of the 2021 ICC T20 Men’s World Cup on October 13-14. The women’s team was to travel the region simultaneously for a limited series comprising two T20Is and three ODIs.
However, the ECB has decided to withdraw its teams from the tour. “The ECB has a long-standing commitment to tour Pakistan as part of the Men’s Future Tours program in 2022,” their statement said.
“The ECB board met this weekend to discuss these extra matches for women and men in England in Pakistan and we can confirm that the board reluctantly decided to withdraw both October trip teams.
“The mental and physical well-being of our players and support staff remains our top priority and this is even more critical given the times we live in now. We know that travel in the region is more and more exciting. in addition to concerns and thinks adding additional pressure to a playgroup that has already faced a long period of operation in restricted Covid environments.
“There is additional complexity for our T20 men’s team. We believe that touring under these conditions will not be an ideal preparation for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, where performing well remains a top priority for 2021.
“We understand that this decision will be a major disappointment for the PCB, who have worked tirelessly to welcome the return of international cricket to their country. Their support for English and Welsh cricket over the past two summers has been a huge show of friendship. We sincerely apologize for the impact this will have on cricket in Pakistan and emphasize continued commitment to our major touring plans there for 2022. “
The ECB’s decision to cancel the tour comes days after the New Zealand men’s team withdrew from their limited series in Pakistan, citing a “security alert” from their government.