Former England cricketer, Michael Atherton believes that England’s upcoming tour of Pakistan is unlikely to happen, following New Zealand’s abrupt decision to abandon the white-ball series against Men in the Green minutes before the start of the first ODI.
New Zealand was slated to play three ODIs and five T20 internationals against Pakistan in Pakistan. However, minutes before the start of the first ODI, New Zealand decided to abandon the tour based on a security alert. Their decision received a lot of backlash from the Pakistan Cricket Board, who were confident of hosting the tour successfully.
Several prominent personalities namely, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Akhtar and Ramiz Raza to name a few vented their frustration on Twitter regarding the same.
Writing in his column for The Times, Michael Atherton said that it is highly unlikely that England is going to participate in the upcoming tour of Pakistan. Atherton said the ECB’s statement of needing 24-48 hours to decide about the series doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. He wrote:
“The ECB announced yesterday they would make a decision on the future of the tours in the next 24-48 hours. That sounded grim: you would hardly give the green light so swiftly, so far in advance. It is very difficult to see the England tour going ahead now.”
“Besides, players are not looking for much of an excuse to pull out of tours in the present climate, as India showed recently in England, and England are led by Eoin Morgan, who was quick to pull out of a trip to Bangladesh on security grounds in 2016. The ECB owes Pakistan, after their visit during the pandemic last summer but this will carry little weight if the safety of players cannot be guaranteed.”