After Kiwis, now English men's and women's team withdraw from Pakistan tour
London: The English men and women cricket team have withdrawn themselves from the upcoming Pakistan tour, just days after New Zealand abandoned their visit to the south Asian nation citing a 'security alert'.
This would have been the first visit of the English men's cricket team to Pakistan since 2005.
The women's team did not visit Pakistan ever.
The England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement: "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," read the statement.
"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," it said.
"We are sincerely sorry for the impact this will have on cricket in Pakistan and emphasise an ongoing commitment to our main touring plans there for 2022," the board said.
Since a terror attack on Sri Lankan team took place in Pakistan in 2009, no international cricket occured in the country for six years.
Pakistan used to host the majority of home matches in the UAE during that period.
International cricket has returned to Pakistan in recent times.
Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ramiz Raja expressed disappointment over the decision taken by England and Wales Cricket Board.
Disappointed with England, pulling out of their commitment & failing a member of their Cricket fraternity when it needed it most. Survive we will inshallah. A wake up call for Pak team to become the best team in the world for teams to line up to play them without making excuses.— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) September 20, 2021
"Disappointed with England, pulling out of their commitment & failing a member of their Cricket fraternity when it needed it most. Survive we will inshallah. A wake up call for Pak team to become the best team in the world for teams to line up to play them without making excuses," Raja tweeted.