After Covid, isolation for Pakistan

England’s scheduled tour of Pakistan in mid-October for 2 T20Is – women and men double-headers – has been cancelled, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) introduced on Monday. This got here within the wake of New Zealand’s cancellation of the Pakistan tour final week over a safety menace.

Once New Zealand had cancelled their tour on the day of the primary ODI at Rawalpindi, England’s withdrawal turned a formality, though the ECB had spoken about discussing the matter final weekend. Both international locations used the identical safety company, ESI Security headed by Reg Dickason.

The ECB launched a press release right this moment, confirming the pull-out. “The ECB has a longstanding dedication to touring Pakistan as a part of the Men’s Future Tours Programme in 2022. Earlier this 12 months, we agreed to play two further T20 World Cup warm-up video games in Pakistan in October, including a brief girls’s tour with double headers alongside the boys’s video games.

“The ECB Board convened this weekend to discuss these extra England Women’s and Men’s games in Pakistan and we can confirm that the Board has reluctantly decided to withdraw both teams from the October trip,” the assertion stated.

The Pakistan Cricket Board’s response to the cancellation to date has been one in all disappointment. The newly-elected PCB chair Ramiz Raja had reacted angrily to New Zealand’s withdrawal, posting on Twitter: “NZ will hear us at ICC”. His tweet following the ECB’s choice learn: “Disappointed with England, pulling out of their commitment & failing a member of their Cricket fraternity when it needed it most. Survive we will inshallah. A wake-up call for Pak team to become the best team in the world for teams to line up to play them without making excuses.”

But financial losses apart, there’s an awesome premonition within the Pakistan cricket fraternity that back-to-back tour cancellations might have critical opposed results. “This is a blow, for this might make our next generation less interested in cricket. Watching superstars in the flesh inspires youngsters to take up the sport. Without cricket at home, that percentage might reduce in the time to come. This is a major dent. The young generation is the biggest loser here,” former Pakistan opener Shoaib Mohammad informed The Indian Express.

The ECB cited the “mental and physical well-being” of the cricketers and assist workers” as a cause for cancellation. “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 assertion stated.

It added: “There is the added complexity for our Men’s T20 squad. We believe that touring under these conditions will not be ideal preparation for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, where performing well remains a top priority for 2021.”
Pakistan went to play an away sequence in Covid surroundings when cricket resumed in England final 12 months. The ECB supplied its honest apology to the PCB.

No-go zone

For near a decade, Pakistan turned a no-go zone for worldwide cricket following the terrorist assault on the Sri Lanka crew bus at Lahore in 2009. After worldwide cricket ultimately returned to the nation, groups began to tour for brief sequence. Home assignments in opposition to New Zealand and England, nonetheless, have been high-profile affairs and Shoaib agreed that the newest improvement might create a critical query mark over the long run dwelling sequence in Pakistan.

“The major cricket-playing countries would once again be in two minds whether to go or not. Other countries came here but until we are hosting major countries, there will be a void. When we host, especially England and Australia again, Pakistan cricket will then be fully restored,” he informed this paper.

Just hours earlier than the primary ODI in opposition to Pakistan on September 17, New Zealand’s scheduled first match within the nation in 18 years, the Black Caps deserted the tour, performing on a safety menace. And after England’s pull out, a piece in Pakistan cricket has began questioning the PCB and its worldwide clout.

“The PCB was absolutely cornered. They couldn’t move a muscle. They weren’t in a position to move a muscle rather. See, the Pakistan security forces are known to be one of the best in the world but New Zealand seemingly thought otherwise, which was a sorry saga for cricket. Actually, there’s an administrative void in the PCB. Earlier, top PCB officials used to be seasoned administrators with connections at the very top. The ICC members knew it. This void cannot be filled overnight by the induction of Ramiz Raja. Now he has to play his part,” Shoaib stated.

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