The England Cricket Board (ECB), unexpectedly pulled out of the Pakistan Tour in September this year. This action caused a ripple effect of unhappiness and hurt feelings for the Pakistan team and the Pakistan Cricket Board. England were accused by the PCB of failing a member of their cricket family, the PCB felt that England was making excuses and were highly offended by the decision.
This trip to Pakistan was supposed to be England’s first time back there since 2005. This visit would feature two double-header men’s and women’s Twenty20 games.
The games were set to be played on the 14th and 15th of October, some of the women’s side would then stay on for three one-day internationals. All of this was cancelled very abruptly, and the fallout continues. Let’s take a look below at the details leading up to and surrounding this decision.
The New Zealand men’s cricket team suddenly withdrew from the Pakistan Tour, spreading shock through the cricketing world. They said they would not be taking part in or travelling to the region due to the fact that they had received “credible, reliable and specific” information regarding a definite security threat. They claim to have received this information from their government intelligent services.
This left the other teams involved in the tour to contemplate about what to do, over the weekend, and on the Monday, the England and Wales cricket board called off their involvement in the tour. Both teams confirmed they had become increasingly concerned about travelling to the region and would prefer to err on the side of caution. England have also made it clear that they are taking the mental health and wellbeing of the players very seriously.
The playing of sports during this pandemic has been incredibly taxing on many of the players, owners and managers physically and emotionally. The way they live their lives and play their sport has had to be drastically reassessed due to isolation, quarantine, lockdown and travel restrictions. Ensuring the players mental wellbeing is high on the priority list in this current climate is of utmost importance. England has shown this by cancelling the tour and not adding to the stress of the already strung-out players who need to relax and could do with some time enjoying fun activities like to play live casino games.
Pakistan Not Impressed
Even though it wasn’t a surprise that England withdrew after New Zealand’s security announcement, it is understandable that this decision was met with anger and frustration in Pakistan. For Pakistan, there was more to this tour than what meets the eye. This tour was put together in November 2020 as a thank you towards the PCB after they sent their test side over to the UK while they were in the midst of high summer-covid numbers.
Ramiz Raja, the former international batsman who is now chair of the Pakistan Cricket Board, tweeted that he was greatly disappointed with England for pulling out of their commitment and failing a member of their Cricket fraternity at a time when it needed it most. He added that they would survive and that it was awake up call for Pakistan team to become the best possible team globally. In the future, teams would line up to play them without making excuses.