The Cricket Board of England and Wales (ECB) has stated that they will take a call on their scheduled tour of Pakistan in October in the next 24-48 hours, after reviewing the security situation.
The ECB’s statement came after New Zealand pulled out of its Pakistan tour on Friday, ahead of the first ODI, citing a security threat.
England men’s and women’s teams are supposed to play two T20Is in Rawalpindi on October 13 and 14. The women’s team will also play three ODIs. However, after New Zealand’s decision to abandon its Pakistan tour, the ECB admitted that they are reviewing their plans.
“We are aware of New Zealand’s decision to withdraw from the Pakistan tour due to a security alert. We are in contact with our security team on the ground in Pakistan to fully understand the situation. The ECB Board will then decide in the next 24-48 hours if our planned tour should continue, “said an ECB spokesman in a ESPN Cricinfo report.
The worrying aspect for Pakistan is that New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and the ECB use the same security consultants: ESI Risk.
Earlier in the day, NZC surprised Pakistani fans and cricketers by releasing a statement confirming that they are leaving the tour for safety reasons.
“Following an escalation in threat levels from the New Zealand government to Pakistan, and the advice of NZC security advisers on the ground, it was decided that BLACKCAPS will not continue the tour,” the official NZC statement read. .
The Kiwis were due to play three ODIs and five T20Is as part of their tour, beginning with the first ODI in Rawalpindi on Friday.
“What world does NZ live in?”: Ramiz Raja criticizes New Zealand for abandoning the Pakistan tour.
PCB President Ramiz Raja lashed out at New Zealand Cricket for deciding to pull out of the Pakistan tour on Friday, even before a ball could be thrown in the series. Venting his frustration on Twitter, Raja warned that the PCB will approach the ICC over New Zealand’s decision.
“It has been a crazy day! I am very sorry for the fans and our players. Going off the beaten path by taking a one-sided approach to a security threat is very frustrating. Especially when it is not shared !! What world does NZ live in? NZ will listen to us at ICC, ”Raja’s tweet read.
Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, also expressed his disappointment at the events and endorsed the capabilities of the country’s security agencies.
Extremely disappointed by the abrupt postponement of the series, which could have brought smiles back to millions of Pakistani cricket fans. I have full confidence in the capabilities and credibility of our security agencies. They are our pride and always will be! Pakistan Zindabad! ”Azam tweeted.
New Zealand came to Pakistan for the first time since 2003 for the now-abandoned tour. In 2002, the Kiwis had left the Test series in Pakistan after a suicide bomb attack in front of their Karachi hotel.