British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly not happy with the England Cricket Board (ECB) over their decision to cancel the Pakistan tour. England, who were set to play two T20Is in Pakistan before the T20 World Cup, withdrew from the series citing security issues. The developments came on back of New Zealand's withdrawal from the Pakistan series after security agencies warned them of a possible attack on the players. The report says that Johnson was furious with ECB and said their decision damaged the relationship between the two countries.
“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,” The Times reported.
“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,” it added.
Further, the report revealed that Team England Player Participation (TEPP) - a unit that represents centrally contracted players expressed their concerns about the tour going ahead which forced ECB to cancel the visit.
Over the years, Pakistan couldn’t host international matches due to security issues but in the last few years, cricket looked like returning to normalcy after the PCB successfully managed to host teams like South Africa, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. However, all the good work done in the last two years were nullified by the recent developments which has once again put Pakistan’s credibility as a safe host in question.
The PCB are in touch with Cricket West Indies (CWI), trying to convince them to visit Pakistan. If the tour goes ahead in December, Pakistan can hope to host Australia in March 2022. If not, it will be very difficult for them to convince cricket boards to send their team to Pakistan in near future.