After the Nation expressed sentiments of dejection upon the Kiwis’ cancellation of their cricket tour to Pakistan, England too has withdrawn from their scheduled tour in October. Both the men’s and women’s cricket team was supposed to arrive in Pakistan for a series later next month, but have now suspended the tour, saying that the staff’s and player’s mental and physical well-being is top priority.
The England Cricket Board stated that there are increasing concerns about how safe travelling to Pakistan is and it would exert mental stress upon players who have already been putting up with restricted conditions under Covid-19 protocols. They added that they needed the team to be in top shape for the T20 World Cup which is to be held in the coming month.
The board was super apologetic for the withdrawal, stating that they were aware of the impact it would have on cricket in Pakistan, but also adding that they are sticking to the commitment of their main planned tours to the country in 2022.
The news got plenty of reaction from already dismayed Pakistanis. PCB chairman Ramiz Raja expressed his disappointment in the English team for withdrawing from their commitment when Pakistan needed it the most, but also added that the Pakistani team will become the best in the world and would make teams want to play them without pulling up excuses.
Cricket statistician Mazher Arshad also expressed his dismay, stating that the New Zealand and England matches were important for Pakistan to prepare for the upcoming T20 tournament. He stated that Pakistan had every right to feel disappointed.
Pakistan have every right to be disappointed and feel they were used. Twice they went out of the way to tour England and went through strict bubbles and risked health of their players. 2 months bubble in 2020. But England can’t send a team even for two T20Is. RIDICULOUS!— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) September 20, 2021
These games were extremely important for Pakistan to prepare for T20 World Cup. Now they will go 84 days without a single T20I before their opening match vs India on October 24. So frustrating!— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) September 20, 2021
Former cricketer Bazid Khan also expressed his discontent.
Englands withdrawal leaves a real bad taste. I don't know what more needs to happen to recognise, and do something about the continuing imbalance in the international game— Bazid Khan (@bazidkhan81) September 20, 2021