After the decision taken by England and Wales Cricket Board on Monday, September 20, 2021, England’s men’s and women’s cricket team will not reach Pakistan in October because of security concerns. The decision came just three days after New Zealand Cricket decided to abandon their visit to Pakistan over security concerns alerted by their government regarding a possible attack outside Rawalpindi stadium.
In a statement, ECB stated – “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 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 who have already coped with a long period of operating in restricted Covid environments.” said ECB.
The visits were organised for showing gratitude to the PCB, as well as the West Indies, Ireland, and Australia, for agreeing to play in the UK last summer despite the Covid-19 outbreak, saving English cricket a £300 million loss.
Reports suggests that the England’s men haven’t played an international match in Pakistan since 2005, while the women were making their maiden trip there. They were scheduled to play three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and two Twenty-20 Internationals (T20Is).
After armed fighters attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009, Pakistan became a no-go zone for foreign cricket teams for a decade. Seven individuals were killed in the incident, and several Sri Lankan cricketers were injured.
The Chairperson of Pakistan Cricket Board and former cricketer Ramiz Raza took twitter to react critically on the decision.
A video was also shared by Pakistan Cricket on Twitter of him criticizing the decision of the ECB.