You FAILED us! Pakistan accuse England of letting them down in their hour of need after pulling out of next month’s T20 tour over travel concerns – with PCB chief Ramiz Raja admitting he feels ‘cheated’
- England’s men had been due to play two Twenty20 internationals in Rawalpindi
- England women were scheduled to feature in five matches on the trip to Pakistan
- But the ECB has now confirmed neither team will be touring their next month
- New Zealand pulled out of their white-ball series on security grounds last week
England were accused on Monday night of ‘failing a member of the cricket fraternity in need’ after pulling out of next month’s tour of Pakistan, citing increasing concerns about travelling to the region.
The stinging verbal attack by PCB chairman Ramiz Raja came just over a year after Pakistan committed to playing here in bio-secure conditions, which helped the ECB mitigate potential losses that could have run into millions of pounds. Pakistan returned for six white-ball matches this summer.
As pay-back, it was agreed England would play their first internationals in Pakistan in 16 years, only for the ECB to say in a statement that they were ‘sincerely sorry for the impact’ their decision to follow New Zealand’s lead will have on cricket in the Asian country. They added that they remain committed to a full tour in 2022.
England have been accused of letting Pakistan down after pulling out of next month’s T20 tour
The drastic decision comes after New Zealand’s hasty departure on security grounds last week
‘Disappointed with England, pulling out of their commitment and failing a member of their cricket fraternity when it needed it most,’ tweeted Raja.
‘Survive we will. A wake-up call for Pak team to become the best team in the world for teams to line up to play them without excuses.’
He added on Sky Sports: ‘It is disappointing to say the least because now was the time for England to help, hold our hand because that is what our small cricket fraternity does. It is unfortunate and disappointing because it may have a domino effect.
PCB chairman Ramiz Raja has launched a stinging attack and admitted he now feels ‘cheated’
England women were also scheduled to feature across five matches on their trip to Pakistan
‘New Zealand have pulled out because of a bizarre security threat that wasn’t shared with our security forces. And now England have decided to pull out. Whatever sacrifices we made to help the Covid situation, that appears to have gone. We have learned a harsh lesson.
‘It is bizarre. When it comes to Pakistan Super League, all these England players are happy to travel, but as a group, they are spooked by the situation and are not willing to share it. It is extremely frustrating. We are a resilient cricket nation, we will survive. It’s just that you feel cheated.’
Eoin Morgan’s side had been due to play two Twenty20 internationals in Rawalpindi on October 14 and 15 and England women were scheduled to feature in five matches.
But the trip was canned a little over 72 hours after New Zealand responded to a high-level security threat aimed at their players by calling off their tour on the morning of the first ODI.
It was initially agreed that England would play their first internationals in Pakistan in 16 years
In a statement, the ECB confirmed that their board had convened over the weekend and had decided to withdraw.
It read: ‘The mental and physical well-being of our players and support staff remains our highest priority. We know there are increasing concerns about travelling to the region and believe going ahead will add further pressure to a group who have already coped with a long period of operating in restricted Covid environments.
‘We believe touring under these conditions will not be ideal preparation for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, where performing well remains a top priority.’
The cancellation will not cost the ECB financially, as it was a goodwill tour rather than being part of international cricket’s Future Tours Programme. However, it is potentially damaging to their relationship with Pakistan.
A high-level security threat aimed at New Zealand players saw their tour of Pakistan called off