British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is unhappy with England and Wales Cricket Board’s decision to pull out of their men’s and women’s tours of Pakistan.
The ECB cited players’ mental health and fatigue as the reason for opting out. However, the timing of the decision raised many questions as ECB cancelled their tour three days after New Zealand called off their limited-overs tour due to security concerns. Notably, New Zealand were on a Pakistan tour after 18 years, whereas England were set to travel after 16 years.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was also disappointed with ECB’s decision and said England let their country down. Not to forget, Pakistan toured England during the pandemic in 2020 to save their summer.
Now, according to reports, the British PM is upset with ECB’s behaviour as it might impact the relations between the two nations.
“There were consultations between the ECB and officials from No 10, the Foreign Office and the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport before announcing the cancellation of the tour in which the governing body was urged to go ahead as planned,” reported The Times.
“The subsequent decision to ignore those pleas and cancel the tour on the grounds of the physical and mental wellbeing of the players has enraged ministers. They believe it has damaged the work being done to improve relations between the UK and Pakistan at a time when they are particularly important,” the report added.
Meanwhile, England cricket’s player’s body has claimed that ECB did not seek the suggestions from the players before cancelling the tour of Pakistan.
“At no stage has the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) 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,” said a TEPP spokesperson as quoted by British media.