England cricket chiefs on Monday withdrew their men’s and women’s teams from next month’s series in Pakistan citing “increasing concerns about travelling to the region”.
The historic trip, which would have been the first by an England women’s team and the first by their male counterparts since 2005, was in serious doubt from the moment New Zealand pulled out of their own series in Pakistan on Friday over security concerns.
Rawalpindi was due to host men’s and women’s T20I double-headers on 13 and 14 October as England’s men prepare for next month’s T20 World Cup.
Heather Knight’s women’s team was then due to play ODIs on 17, 19 and 21 October.
“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 ECB said in a statement.
“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.”
Pakistan cricket chief Ramiz Raja took to Twitter to say England had failed his nation’s cricketers by pulling out of the tour.
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.
— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) September 20, 2021
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