England call off scheduled tour to Pakistan in October

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England have decided to call off the Pakistan tour that was scheduled for October this year. They were to play two T20Is and three ODIs in what was going to be England women’s first ever trip to the country. Both the men’s and women’s side won’t be travelling for the next month’s series, ECB announced on Monday (September 20).

“The ECB has a longstanding commitment to tour Pakistan as part of the men's Future Tours Programme in 2022. Earlier this year, we agreed to play two additional T20 World Cup warm-up games in Pakistan in October, adding a short women's tour with double headers alongside the men's games. 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,” ECB said in the statement.

In the last week, New Zealand Cricket decided to abandon their men’s sides Pakistan tour with New Zealand government informing the board about an impending security threat. ECB has cited the concerns about travelling to the region and also talked about the players’ mental and physical well-being in the times of COVID-19 based restricted environments.

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“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,” the statement further read.

ECB reiterated their commitment to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and added that England will look to travel to the country in 2022.

"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. Their support of English and Welsh cricket over the last two summers has been a huge demonstration of friendship.  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 governing body added in the statement.

England are currently leading 2-0 against New Zealand in a five-match ODI series at home having won the T20I series against the same opponents early this month.