The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said that they will take on a call on their scheduled tour of Pakistan in October in the next 24-48 hours, after reviewing the security situation in Pakistan. ECB’s statement came following New Zealand’s decision to abandon their ongoing tour due to a security threat.
England men’s team is currently due to play two T20Is in Rawalpindi on October 13 and 14. The women’s team is due to play a three-match ODI series on October 17, 19, and 21. England men would be traveling to Pakistan for the first time in 16 years. While England women will be visiting for the first time to Pakistan. However, after New Zealand’s unilateral decision to abandon their tour of Pakistan, ECB stated that they are having a re-look at their plans.
ECB to decide ‘in next 24-48 hours’ if tour goes ahead
“We’re aware of New Zealand’s decision to pull out of the Pakistan tour due to a security alert. We are liaising with our security team who are on the ground in Pakistan to fully understand the situation. The ECB Board will then decide in the next 24-48 hours whether our planned tour should proceed,” an ECB spokesperson was quoted as saying in an ESPN Cricinfo report.
You need to feel for Pakistan cricket as a true cricket fan. After lots of hard work over the years by the board, international cricket in Pakistan was coming back slowly and things started to look good. But this incident has again put the question mark on Pakistan’s security. However, NZC hasn’t mentioned any detailed information about the security threat yet.
Given that New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and the ECB use the same security consultants – ESI Risk, so it might go against Pakistan.
A statement from NZC said: “Following an escalation in the New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan, and advice from NZC security advisors on the ground. It has been decided the BLACKCAPS will not continue with the tour.”
Pakistan Cricket Board states that the series has been postponed for the time being
PCB said in a statement that they’re willing to reschedule the matches. However, given the current situation, this is unlikely to happen as the New Zealand cricket team is flying back home soon.
“Earlier today, the New Zealand cricket board informed us that they had been alerted to some security alert. And have unilaterally decided to postpone the series. PCB and Govt of Pakistan made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams,” the PCB tweeted.
“We have assured the NZ cricket board of the same. The Prime Minister spoke personally to the Prime Minister of New Zealand and informed her that we have one of the best Intelligence systems in the world. And that no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team.”
“The security officials with the NZ team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Govt of Pakistan throughout their stay here. PCB is willing to continue the scheduled matches. However, cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world will be disappointed by this last-minute withdrawal,” the statement said.