British High Commission did not advise against England’s tour of Pakistan

The British High Commission in Islamabad on Tuesday said it did not advise the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) against withdrawing from their tour of Pakistan in October on security grounds. British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Christian Turner said the High Commission was in support of the tour.

Turner, in a social media post, said the ECB’s decision was based solely on players’ welfare. His comments come after the ECB said on Monday that it would not send its men and women’s team players to Pakistan, citing “increasing concerns” about travelling to Pakistan after New Zealand abandoned white-ball series in Pakistan.

New Zealand returned home from Rawalpindi earlier this month, citing security alert. The BlackCaps trained in Pakistan ahead of their 3-match ODI series and 5-match T20I series. However, they decided to withdraw from the tour hours ahead of the toss of the 1st ODI.

ECB said the decision to withdraw from the proposed tour was taken while keeping in mind the mental well-being of the players.

“I share the deep sadness of cricket fans that England will not tour Pakistan in October. I am sad,” Turner said in a video message.

“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.”

Turner said he will work towards making England’s tour of Pakistan in the autumn of 2022 a reality. England are scheduled to tour the Asian nation in 2022 but the ECB did not give any guarantee of fulfilling their commitments.

Notably, Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ramiz Raja said he was disappointed by England’s decision to withdraw from the tour.

“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 (sic),” Raja said.

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Vishwas Gupta