The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Monday that they will not be sending their Men’s and Women’s teams to Pakistan next month.
The decision follows the travel advisory that was issued by the Five Eyes on the same day when New Zealand aborted their tour. For those unaware, Five Eyes is an intelligence-sharing circle of five countries including New Zealand, England, Australia, Canada and the United States.
In an official statement issued late on Monday, the England cricket board said they were reluctantly pulling out of the pre-committed tour to save its players from physical and mental stress that could be caused by travelling to the region.
“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 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.
“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.
The cricket board expressed regret for not living up to the commitment and for the loss it would cause to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that has been working tirelessly to bring back internationals to Pakistan.
“We understand that this decision will be a significant disappointment to the PCB, who have worked tirelessly to host the return of international cricket in their country.”
The board also thanked PCB for the support they extended over the years and showed commitment to follow there to main touring plans for 2022. England cricket team is scheduled to play two Test matches and three ODIS in Pakistan next year.