Pakistan 'disappointed' over England tour cancellation: PCB

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Ramiz Raja of Pakistan
Ramiz Raja of Pakistan
Arif ALI / AFP

Pakistan cricket chief Ramiz Raja said Monday England had failed his nation's cricket team by pulling out of its tour next month.

"Disappointed with England, pulling out of their commitment and failing a member of their Cricket fraternity when it needed it most," tweeted the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman.

"Survive we will inshallah. A wake up call for Pak team to become the best team in the world for teams to line up to play them without making excuses."

England's cancellation was not unexpected, coming just three days after New Zealand abandoned their first tour of Pakistan for 18 years, as the first ODI was due to start in Rawalpindi on Friday.

Australia is also feared to pull out of their first tour of the country since 1998, scheduled for February and March next year.

Pakistan had gradually returned to the cricket map as hosts of international matches following a six-year hiatus in the wake of attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009.

During their cricketing isolation, Pakistan was forced to play their home matches on neutral venues in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Former Pakistan skipper Javed Miandad blamed "a negative mindset of western countries".

"They first force us to inspect our security and then pull out without any solid reason," said Miandad, who backed a return to neutral venues.

"Pakistan should ask them whether they want to play or not and if they say, yes, then playing in the UAE is one option because we need cricket."

Pakistan Test opener Shan Masood deplored England's decision.

"Pakistan as a nation and as a cricketing board has made countless sacrifices and efforts after six years of exile," Masood told AFP.

"We have toured to places during Covid to keep the game going, so please be there for us when we need you," said Masood, referring to Pakistan's tours of England and New Zealand.

PCB said it will make no further comments.

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