‘It is out of our hands’ – Heather Knight on ECB’s decision to withdraw from the Pakistan tour
ECB’s decision came three days after the Black Caps abandoned their tour of Pakistan.
Updated - Sep 21, 2021 8:16 pm
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) recently abandoned their white-ball series against Pakistan just before the first ODI, citing security threats. However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) denied the existence of any such threats. After New Zealand, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) too announced that its men’s and women’s tours of Pakistan will not proceed as planned.
ECB’s decision came three days after the Black Caps abandoned their tour of Pakistan. England’s men and women’s team was staged to play white-ball series against the Men in Green. England’s men’s side last played an international match in Pakistan in the year 2005 while the women were yet to visit the country. Opening up on this matter, the England women’s cricket team skipper Heather Knight asserted that the situation it is out of the team’s hands.
“It is out of our hands, one of those things I don’t want to comment on too much. We were told and that’s the end of that,” Heather Knight said during the toss of the ongoing New Zealand series.
England cancels cricket tours of Pakistan
ECB on Monday, September 20 announced that it has withdrawn from the Pakistan tour in October. Earlier, ECB had agreed to play two additional T20 World Cup warm-up matches in Pakistan. Both the men’s and women’s teams were scheduled to play T20I doubleheaders in Rawalpindi and the women’s team was further planned to stay back for the ODI series. The ECB, however, decided to call off the series.
“The ECB has a longstanding commitment to tour Pakistan as part of the Men’s Future Tours Programme in 2022. 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 statement by ECB read.
Post the decisions of England and New Zealand to not play against Pakistan, the PCB chairman Ramiz Raja expressed his disappointment and also added that it is a lesson for Pakistan.
“Now, this [England] was expected but this is a lesson for us because we go out of our way to accommodate and pamper these sides when they visit. And when we go there, we undergo strict quarantines and we tolerate their admonishments, but there is a lesson in this. That is, that from now on we will only go as far as is in our interest,” Raja said as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.