Pakistan’s limited-overs tour to the Netherlands has been indefinitely postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, ESPNcricinfo has reported.
Pakistan were to tour the Netherlands ahead of their England tour this summer. Sarfaraz Ahmed’s side were to play a three-match ODI series in Amstelveen on July 4, 7 and 9 respectively.
Koninklijke Nederlandse Cricket Bond (KNCB), the sport’s governing body, confirmed that it will not host any international cricketing competition this year as the Dutch government has restricted all sporting and cultural events till September due to the pandemic.
“It is sad that we have to postpone our July tour to the Netherlands but in the prevailing circumstances this is absolutely the right thing to do as human lives are far more precious and valuable than a cricket match or an event,” Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Executive Wasim Khan said as quoted in a press release. “Netherlands has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and we offer our heartfelt condolences to all those who have lost their lives. Like any other country, the PCB stands firmly with the KNCB and hope they will be able to overcome this crisis. The Pakistan national cricket teams have always enjoyed touring the Netherlands and as soon as things return to normal, the PCB will engage with the KNCB to reschedule the tour so that we can fulfil our obligation.”
Wasim went on to say that Pakistan’s tour to Ireland and England is on track at the moment. “We are keeping a watching brief and are in contact with our counterparts in Dublin and London, respectively. As is always the case, the PCB will be happy to be guided by the hosts on the upcoming tours but without compromising on the health and safety of its players and team support personnel.”
KNCB Chairperson Betty Timmer said that she was extremely disappointed that the country will not be able to host any international cricket in the summer. “However, the health and safety of the players, staff and fans is our main priority, and in that light the ban on events by the Dutch government is understandable. We truly hope that by next season the situation is under control again, so we can host the Super League series against England, Ireland and the West Indies as planned. We would love to welcome back all cricket fans on our grounds in the summer of 2021.”