The ECB say they will make a decision on whether next month’s tour of Pakistan can go ahead in the next 48 hours, after New Zealand pulled out of their first trip to the country following updated security advice from their government.
England men and women are due in Rawalpindi for T20 double headers on October 13 and 14. It will be the men’s first visit to the country since 2005, and the women’s first ever visit. But the tour is in doubt after New Zealand withdrew on the day of the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi, that were due to be followed by five T20s in Lahore.
The teams did not leave the team hotel, with the tour called off around the scheduled start time of the first match.
A statement from New Zealand Cricket: “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 Black Caps will not continue with the tour. Arrangements are now being made for the team’s departure.”
The ECB – whose security is guided by the world-renowned Reg Dickason – responded promptly with a statement about their tour.
“We’re aware of New Zealand’s decision to pull out of the Pakistan tour due to a security alert,” said a spokesperson. “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.”
In an uncertain time for international cricket, the news comes a week after India’s tour of England was called off ahead of the final Test due to concerns over Covid-19.