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Pakistanis suffer a meltdown after England pulls out of Pakistan tour, days after being left red-faced by New Zealand team

On Monday, England and Wales Cricket Board decided to withdraw both, men's as well as women's, teams from the upcoming tour of Pakistan, days after New Zealand recalled its team

Hours after England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) decided to withdraw both men’s and women’s teams from their scheduled tour of Pakistan, Pakistanis took to Twitter to cry foul over the cancellation. The development comes three days after the New Zealand cricket board recalled its team over security concerns.

Ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup in UAE, the England Men’s team was scheduled to play 2 back-to-back T20Is on October 13 and 14. On the other hand, the Women’s team was scheduled to play 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs. On Monday (September 20) night, the ECB decided to pull a plug on their tour of October, leaving Pakistanis high and dry.

Pakistanis cry foul over ECB’s withdrawal from its scheduled tour

Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ramiz Raza lamented that the cricket fraternity had failed the county at a time when it needed them the most. “Disappointed with England, pulling out of their commitment & failing a member of their Cricket fraternity when it needed it most. Survive we will inshallah,” he said. Furthermore, he claimed that it was a wake-up call for the Pakistan team to become the best in the world so that other teams line up to play against them.

Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar urged the team to fight it out against New Zealand in the T20I World Cup. “Ab painja laganay ka time aa gaya hai. Chorna nahi hai ab (We have to arm wrestle them. We are not going to spare the New Zealand team)”, he announced. Akhtar also claimed that the ECB’s snub was no ‘big deal’ and that the country had witnessed worse circumstances than that.

Pakistani columnist Farwa Munir blamed the ECB for being ungrateful and not returning the favour. “When people were dying in Your country with Covid_19 we go we play we save your cricket. But when it’s time that you come here to play with us but you pushed us back in 10 years. It’s selfishness,” Munir lamented.

Pakistani journalist Chaudhry Yasif too cried foul over the alleged ‘politicisation’ of cricket. While sharing a picture of Prince William and his wife Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, Yasif asked as to how Pakistan was safe for the royal couple but not the English cricketers.

Pakistani sports producer Zohain Hussain wrote, “ECB’s reason behind the withdrawal from Pakistan’s tour – ‘increasing concerns about travelling to the region’. If NZ’s unilateral decision was absurd, this is right up there, if not worse. #PAKvENG”

Other Pakistani netizens drew ‘sadistic pleasure’ from the heartbreaking losses suffered by the England cricket team during the 1992 World Cup and the 2016 T20I World Cup. While sharing pictures of the final match of the T20I World Cup between England and West Indies in 2016, one Jahan Zaib wrote, “Dear England, you deserved it.”

Another Twitter user shared the picture of the final match between Pakistan and England during the 1992 World Cup and wrote, “This moment seems so satisfying. #PakVsEng”

“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 its statement while pulling out from the Pakistani tour.

It further added, “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.”

New Zealand abandons cricket series in Pakistan citing security concerns

An hour before the start of the 1st ODI match with Pakistan at Rawalpindi on September 17, the New Zealand cricket team decided to ‘abandon’ their tour of Pakistan over security concerns. The ‘B’ team of New Zealand was scheduled to play a 3-match ODI series against Pakistan in Rawalpindi, followed by a 5-match T20 series against them in Lahore. “However, following an escalation in the New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan, and advice from NZC security advisors on the ground, it has been decided the BLACKCAPS will not continue with the tour. Arrangements are now being made for the team’s departure,” read a statement posted on the website of the New Zealand Cricket Board. 

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