The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Monday said that the board has decided to withdraw both, men’s as well as women’s, teams from the upcoming tour of Pakistan.
This comes just days after New Zealand cricket board recalled its team touring Pakistan for first time in 18 years over security concerns.
As per ECB, the board convened a meeting over the weekend when the decision to not go to Pakistan was taken. “Earlier this year, we agreed to play two additional T20 World Cup warm-up games in Pakistan in October, adding a short women’s tour with double headers alongside the men’s games,” the ECB said in a statement. However, the ECB ‘reluctantly’ decided to withdraw both the teams.
“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,” The ECB said in a statement.
The ECB said that owing to this, touring under these circumstances would not be ideal 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 significant disappointment to the PCB, who have worked tirelessly to host the return of international cricket in their country. Their support of English and Welsh cricket over the last two summers has been a huge demonstration of friendship. We are sincerely sorry for the impact this will have on cricket in Pakistan and emphasise an ongoing commitment to our main touring plans there for 2022,” The ECB said.