The decision of pulling out was made by ECB independently, UK Government had no role: British High Commissioner to Pakistan
The British High commissioner to Pakistan clarified that the UK Government played no part in ECB's decision.
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There is a new angle to the story of England pulling out of their men’s and women’s cricket team tour to Pakistan, which was scheduled in October. On Monday, September 20, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced their decision to pull out of the tour. They cited the concerns over security and the mental well-being of their players going into a place like Pakistan as the main reason behind pulling out.
Last week, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) received a terrorist attack threat in Pakistan, which resulted in them pulling out of their tour just hours before the scheduled start of the first match. While some suspected that the ECB would decide to pull out citing this as an issue, it seems that they didn’t get anything concerning the security in Pakistan from the British Government.
The British High Commissioner to Pakistan has come out to clarify this. Christian Turner uploaded a video on his official Twitter handle in which he spoke about the tour being cancelled. He expressed his sadness because of the cancellation of the tour. But, then he tried to clarify that the British Government had advised ECB to go ahead with the tour.
The British High Commission supported the tour: Christian Turner
“This was the decision made by the ECB, which is independent of the British Government, based on the concerns over the welfare of the players. The British High Commission supported the tour. It didn’t advise against it on security grounds. And our travel advice on Pakistan has not changed,” Turner said in the video.
— Christian Turner (@CTurnerFCDO) September 21, 2021
ECB, though, have said in their statement that it was more to do with the concerns that a player can have travelling to Pakistan. The women’s team was supposed to play two T20Is and three ODIs, while the men’s team was scheduled to play two T20Is.
The ECB’s decision has not gone down well for various reasons. Pakistan team travelled to England twice since the COVID-19 pandemic, once even when vaccines were not out. In fact, this tour and the following tour which Turner spoke about (in 2022), was supposed to be held because Pakistan had travelled to England to help ECB recover some of its losses due to the pandemic.