Pakistan’s worst fears have come true as their upcoming series against England has been called off by the England Cricket Board (ECB) due to security concerns. Ever since New Zealand abandoned their tour due to security issues, England pulling out of the series was inevitable given that both New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and England Cricket Board (ECB) use the same security agencies.
“We know there are increasing concerns about travelling to the region,” the ECB said, “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.”
While England men’s team was scheduled to play two T20Is ahead of the T20 World Cup, the women’s team was to play three ODIs in addition to the two T20Is.
Over the years, teams have refrained from travelling to Pakistan after the deadly attack on the Sri Lanka team in 2009. New Zealand arrived in Pakistan after 18 long years and this was supposed to be England’s first visit after 2005. However, that’s not going to happen anytime soon now.
Both New Zealand and England series was a big step forward for Pakistan to bring cricket back to the country. However, the recent developments are a massive setback to them as no team would want to risk the security of players at any cost. Pakistan is also set to host Australia, but that’s next year which gives them a bit more time to convince Cricket Australia (CA) to send their team to Pakistan. However, at the moment, things are not looking good for them.
Pakistan in the last couple of years have successfully hosted South Africa, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka but with New Zealand cancelling their series due to security issues, their credibility as a safe host is once again in question. It was reported that PCB approached Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for a short series but things could not work out owing to prior commitments of the teams.