Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja is not amused by England’s decision to pull out of the Pakistan series and said they let the country down. Notably, Pakistan toured England in 2020 during the pandemic to save their summer. After New Zealand’s withdrawal of the Pakistan tour due to security issues, Pakistan expected England to lend them a helping hand. However, that was not the case to be as England Cricket Board (ECB) announced they are abandoning the tour as players are reluctant to visit Pakistan. Raja added that Pakistan will only look after their own interest going forward.
“I am severely disappointed in England’s withdrawal but it was expected because this western bloc gets united unfortunately and tries to back each other. So you can take any decision on the basis of security threat and perception. There was a sense of anger because first New Zealand got away without sharing information about the threat they were facing,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Raja as saying.
“Now, this England was expected but this is a lesson for us because we go out of our way to accommodate and pamper these sides when they visit. And when we go there, we undergo strict quarantines and we tolerate their admonishments, but there is a lesson in this. That is, that from now on we will only go as far as is in our interest,” he added.
Pakistan are also set to host Australia next year but Cricket Australia (CA) is also monitoring the situation and may pull out of the series. Raja said that it was the responsibility of the cricket fraternity to support Pakistan but they let them down. He added that Pakistan need to improve their game and also expand their economy so that these teams are keen on playing against Pakistan.
“We have to improve and expand our cricket economy so that these countries remain interested in playing us. That is in our interests as well so that our players are paid better and we are respected more. They come to the PSL where they don’t get spooked or fatigued but collectively they have a different mindset together toward Pakistan,” he added.
Raja feels the upcoming T20 World Cup in UAE is a great opportunity for Pakistan to make a statement. The ‘Men in Green’ open their T20 World Cup campaign against India on October 24 in Dubai.