Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan hit out at the England and New Zealand cricket board for pulling out of cricket tour of his country due to some ‘fake message by an Indian’. New Zealand cricket team in September abandoned its tour of Pakistan following their government’s security alert in September. And a few days later on September 20, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced that they have withdrawn from the Pakistan tour in October.
“I think England let themselves down, I expected more out of England. Even New Zealand let themselves down for something that we know was a fake news initiative by some Indian sitting in Singapore,” Imran Khan was quoted as saying in an interview to Middle East Eye on Monday (October 11).
Imran Khan said that no one would ‘dare do that to India’ due to the power and financial resources of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. “No one would dare do that to India due to the power and financial resources of the Indian cricket board,” according to Dawn.
PM Imran Khan says India controls the world of cricket through money, England and NZ cricket teams let themselves down [by cancelling Pakistan tour] pic.twitter.com/FAEduqRONV
— Naya Daur Media (@nayadaurpk) October 11, 2021
He also emphasised that the England and New Zealand cricket teams had let themselves down by canceling the tours. “I think there is still this feeling in England that they do a great favour by playing for countries like Pakistan,” Pakistan PM added.
Earlier, NZC said in a statement had said, “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 BLACKCAPS will not continue with the tour.”
NZC chief executive David White said it was simply not possible to continue with the tour given the advice he was receiving. New Zealand was slated to play their first match on Pakistan soil since 2003.
Earlier this year, ECB had agreed to play two additional T20 World Cup warm-up games in Pakistan in October, adding a short women’s tour with double headers alongside the men’s games.
As per the official statement from the ECB board, “The mental and physical well-being of England’s players and support staff remains the highest priority of ECB. We know there are increasing concerns about travelling to the region and believe that going ahead will add further pressure to a playing group who have already coped with a long period of operating in restricted Covid environments,” the statement added.
(with ANI inputs)
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