ECB’s statement came after New Zealand pulled out of their tour of Pakistan on Friday, ahead of the first ODI, citing a security threat.
England’s men and women teams are supposed to due to play two T20Is in Rawalpindi on October 13 and 14. The women team is scheduled to play three ODIs as well. However, after New Zealand’s decision to abandon their tour of Pakistan, ECB conceded that they are having a re-look at their plans.
“We’re aware of New Zealand’s decision to pull out of the Pakistan tour due to a security alert. We are liaising with our security team who are on the ground in Pakistan to fully understand the situation. The ECB Board will then decide in the next 24-48 hours whether our planned tour should proceed,” an ECB spokesperson was quoted as saying in an ESPN Cricinfo report.
The worrying aspect for Pakistan is that New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and the ECB use the same security consultants – ESI Risk.
Earlier in the day, NZC stunned Pakistan fans and cricketers by releasing a statement to confirm that they are quitting the tour due to security reasons.
“Following an escalation in the New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan, and advice from NZC security advisors on the ground, it has been decided the BLACKCAPS will not continue with the tour,” NZC’s official statement read.
The Kiwis were slated to play three ODIs and five T20Is as part of their tour, starting with the first ODI in Rawalpindi on Friday.
“Which world is NZ living in” – Ramiz Raja hits out at New Zealand for abandoning Pakistan tour
PCB chairman Ramiz Raja lashed out at New Zealand Cricket for deciding to pull out of the Pakistan tour on Friday even before a ball could be bowled in the series. Venting his frustration on Twitter, Raja warned that PCB will approach the ICC over New Zealand’s decision.
“Crazy day it has been! Feel so sorry for the fans and our players. Walking out of the tour by taking a unilateral approach on a security threat is very frustrating. Especially when it’s not shared!! Which world is NZ living in??NZ will hear us at ICC,” Raja’s tweet read.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam also expressed disappointment over the developments and backed the capabilities of the country’s security agencies.
“Extremely disappointed on the abrupt postponement of the series, which could have brought the smiles back for millions of Pakistan Cricket Fans. I’ve full trust in the capabilities and credibility of our security agencies. They are our pride and always will be! Pakistan Zindabad!,” Azam tweeted.
New Zealand arrived in Pakistan for the first time since 2003 for the now-abandoned tour. Back in 2002, the Kiwis had quit the Test series in Pakistan after a suicide bomb attack outside their Karachi hotel.