England’s tour of Pakistan in danger after New Zealand’s pull out – Report

New Zealand abandoning their white-ball series in Pakistan at the last moment has prompted the England and Wales Cricket Broad (ECB) to spring into action and weigh up the security situation before they tour the country next month.

England are scheduled to play two T20Is in Rawalpindi on October 13 and October 14, in what will be their first visit to Pakistan since 2005.

“We’re aware of New Zealand’s decision to pull out of the Pakistan tour due to a security alert. We are liaising with our security team who are on the ground in Pakistan to fully understand the situation,” ECB said in a statement on Friday (September 17).

“The ECB Board will then decide in the next 24-48 hours whether our planned tour should proceed,” the statement read further.

While the ECB is yet to make an official decision, a report published in Cricbuzz, quoted a source close to the English team, saying that the tour is going to be called-off.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Friday said it received a security alert from its government and made the decision to pull out of the tour just moments before the ODI series opener. They were slated to play three ODIs and five T20Is in Rawalpindi and Lahore respectively from September 17 to October 3.

Notably, the ECB use the same security company as NZC and are they are likely to be receiving the same information that led to New Zealand pulling out of the tour. ESI Risk is led by Reg Dickason, a highly experienced security advisor, who the ECB and their players trust.

The ECB had sent ESI Risk’s David Snare to Pakistan a few weeks back in order to do research and re-examine the security arrangements in the country. At that point in time, no significant issues were raised.

If England decide to follow New Zealand’s route and pull out of the tour, then it will be a big setback to the revival of international cricket in Pakistan.