English cricketers expose their Board over cancelling Pakistan tour

Deny claims they were behind the ECB pulling out of next month’s Pakistan tour: Insist they were not even asked if they would travel

By: News Desk      Published: 12:27 PM, 24 Sep, 2021
English cricketers
File photo.

The England cricketers’ union has refuted claims that its players were behind the ECB pulling out of next month’s Pakistan tour, insisting they were not even asked if they would travel.

Team England Player Partnership (TEPP) say they were left in the dark by the ECB following New Zealand’s decision to leave Pakistan last Friday after a security alert minutes before their opening match in Rawalpindi, reported Daily Mail on Friday.

The ECB board met on Sunday and the players were told of the decision to cancel the tour that same afternoon.

England have pulled out of next month’s Pakistan tour but the England cricketers’ union has refuted claims that its players were behind the decision.

It was reported that an intervention by the TEPP stopped the tour going ahead, but in a strong rebuttal, a spokesperson told Sportsmail: ‘At no stage has the ECB ever asked Team England Player Partnership or the teams, men and women, whether the tour should go ahead or whether players were prepared to tour Pakistan. 

'At no stage has Team England Player Partnership informed the ECB that the players would not be touring.

‘The ECB board met last Sunday to debate the tour to Pakistan. That afternoon we were informed the tour had been cancelled. Team England Player Partnership was not asked for our input and we were not involved in the decision to cancel the tour.’

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There is still confusion at the union over the subsequent ECB statement, which left players open to criticism by saying one reason for the cancellation was to protect the squad’s ‘physical and mental well-being’.

This follows Pakistan touring England in the summer of 2020 to play three Tests and three Twenty20s when there was still no Covid vaccine.

Also Read: 'No special deals' for England cricketers heading to Australia: PM Johnson

Earlier, ECB was caught off-guard by the the British Hgh Commissioner Christian Turner who also denied of passing any official instructions against the tour of Pakistan.

The British Hgh Commissioner Christian Turner said, “This was a decision made by the ECB, which is independent of the British government, based on concerns for player welfare. The British High Commission supported the tour, did not advise against it on security grounds, and our travel advice for Pakistan has not changed. I have been a champion of international cricket’s return to Pakistan and will redouble my efforts in advance of England’s Autumn 2022 tour.”