England should have remembered Pakistan's favour
England Cricket Board used Pakistan when it needed them and binned them when it was its time to return the favour, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja has said.
On Tuesday, the ECB called of their tour to Pakistan which was scheduled to take place next month, citing “mental and physical well-being of our players and support staff “, days after New Zealand’s eleventh-hour withdrawal from their Pakistan visit.
Responding to a question during a press conference with foreign media, Ramiz said Pakistan’s visit to England last year during a time when the Covid-19 pandemic posed much more danger and most of the English population was unvaccinated was a demonstration of responsibility.
“We’ve been going out of our way to adjust, to accommodate the international demands, we’ve been such a responsible part of the cricket fraternity,” said Ramiz. “In return we get a response from ECB, quoting that the players were ‘spooked’ by the New Zealand withdrawal,” he added.
“I mean, what does that mean?”
The PCB chief said England should have remembered Pakistan’s favour, and instead of cancelling their tour — which was set to feature two Twenty-20 Internationals on October 13 and 14 — they should have extended support after New Zealand abrupt withdrawal.
“Its a feeling of being used and then binned. That is the feeling that I have right now,” he said. “Little bit of hand holding, little bit of caring was needed, specially after the New Zealand pull-out. We didn’t get that from ECB and that is so frustrating.”
England are scheduled to tour Pakistan for five One-day Internationals in October 2022 as well. Ramiz said he is not very hopeful the visit will materialise.
“I asked ECB chief Ian, what is the guarantee of England coming back to play here in 2022 because a month before that tour you can easily quote tiredness, players being ‘spooked’ again, sick of living in a bubble or a threat perception that probably will once again will not be shared with us,” he said. “He clearly had a no answer to that. We’ve a back-up plan for sure.”
Pakistan are scheduled to host Bangladesh, West Indies Australia — after 24 years — apart from England and New Zealand next year.
Ramiz said New Zealand’s abandoning their Pakistan tour and England refusing to visit next month has dealt a huge blow to Pakistan’s cricket calendar.
“Now we don’t have a robust domestic and international calendar with New Zealand and England gone,” said the PCB chairperson.
“West Indies could be a bit jittery. We know that Australians will probably do what New Zealand and England have done and there goes our domestic and international calendar for you.”