England also pulls out

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THE very decision of The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to pull out both the men’s and women’s teams from next month’s tour of Pakistan, though would have disappointed and dejected the fans, yet has not come much as a surprise as the same was expected following abrupt cancellation of tour by New Zealand which will continue to haunt us in the months to come.

The international cricket had returned to the country following years of efforts on the part of the PCB, the government and our security forces.

As a result of improved security situation, South Africa visited Pakistan early this year whilst Sri Lanka played cricket on our grounds back in 2019.

Both the teams expressed complete satisfaction over the security arrangements and declared the country safe to play international cricket.

However, the call off by New Zealand, which was provided foolproof security by none other than our army, has damaged our reputation to such a level that it would require significant time and effort to once again restore the confidence of other cricket playing nations on Pakistan’s security situation.

It is really unfortunate that we once again became the victim of a conspiracy on the part of hostile forces which do not want to see us flourishing and progressing in any manner.

England’s men have not played an international match in Pakistan since 2005 while this would have been the first of their women.

Instead of cancelling the series, our Board should sit with the British Board and decide on a neutral venue.

Though there is no much expectation from the ICC given the strong Indian lobby there, yet we must strongly plead our case over the latest call offs.

The misunderstanding about the security situation in Pakistan must be removed by presenting the actual situation to the cricket boards of other nations.

In fact efforts be made to early host the Sri Lankan or West Indian cricket teams which have always been forthcoming to support Pakistan in order to allay the security fears of other cricketing nations.

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