England cricketers deny claims they were behind the ECB pulling out of next month’s Pakistan tour… insisting they were not even asked if they would travel
- 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
- Union have refuted claims that their players were behind the decision
The England cricketers’ union have refuted claims that their players were behind the ECB pulling out of next month’s Pakistan tour, insisting they were not even asked if they would travel.
Team England Player Partnership (TEPP) say they were left in the dark by the ECB following New Zealand’s decision to leave Pakistan last Friday after a security alert minutes before their opening match in Rawalpindi.
Sportsmail understands the ECB board met on Sunday and the players were told of the decision to cancel the tour that same afternoon.
England have pulled out of next month’s Pakistan tour but the England cricketers’ union have refuted claims that their players were behind the decision
It was reported that an intervention by the TEPP stopped the tour going ahead, but in a strong rebuttal, a spokesperson told Sportsmail: ‘At no stage has the ECB ever asked Team England Player Partnership or the teams, men and women, whether the tour should go ahead or whether players were prepared to tour Pakistan.
‘At no stage has Team England Player Partnership informed the ECB that the players would not be touring.
‘The ECB board met last Sunday to debate the tour to Pakistan. That afternoon we were informed the tour had been cancelled. Team England Player Partnership was not asked for our input and we were not involved in the decision to cancel the tour.’
The union have said that the players were not even asked if they would travel to Pakistan
It is also understood that the TEPP had held three out of four meetings with the ECB focused on security for the trip, though the fourth meeting — which was due either this week or next week — was cancelled before the board made their decision to abandon the tour.
The travel advice, from the Foreign Office, the British High Commission in Pakistan and the ECB’s own security advisors, had not changed despite New Zealand’s withdrawal.
There is still confusion at the union over the subsequent ECB statement, which left players — a number whom are currently in the UAE on lucrative IPL contracts — open to criticism by saying one reason for the cancellation was to protect the squad’s ‘physical and mental well-being’.
The drastic decision comes after New Zealand’s hasty departure on security grounds last week
This follows Pakistan touring England in the summer of 2020 to play three Tests and three Twenty20s when there was still no Covid vaccine.
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja earlier this week slammed the decision, saying that his team have been ‘used and binned’ by the ‘Western Bloc’.
He said: ‘I am severely disappointed in England’s withdrawal, but it was expected because this Western Bloc gets united unfortunately and tries to back each other.
‘This (England’s decision) was expected but this is a lesson for us because we go out of our way to accommodate and pamper these sides when they visit.’
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