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England's men's and women's tours of Pakistan have been canceled after New Zealand abandoned their visit on Friday due to security concerns.
The England and Wales Cricket Board deliberated over the weekend and have now decided to cancel England's first visit of the country since 2005.
“The ECB Board convened this weekend to discuss these extra England Women’s and Men’s games in Pakistan and we can confirm that the Board has reluctantly decided to withdraw both teams from the October trip," the ECB said in a statement.
“The mental and physical well-being of our players and support staff remains our highest priority and this is even more critical given the times we are currently living in. 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 Black Caps were supposed to start the first of eight white-ball internationals in Rawalpindi on Friday afternoon, but the tour was called off at the last minute, with players being advised to stay in their hotel rooms and prepare for a flight home. The tour was New Zealand's first to Pakistan since 2003, and the Pakistan Cricket Board was disappointed by their cancellation.
Eoin Morgan's men were planned to play back-to-back T20I on October 13 and 14, as part of their prep for the World Cup, which begins the following week in the United Arab Emirates, while Heather Knight's women were set to play two T20s and three ODIs.
"We understand that this decision will be a significant disappointment to the PCB, who have worked tirelessly to host the return of international cricket in their country. Their support of English and Welsh cricket over the last two summers has been a huge demonstration of friendship. We are sincerely sorry for the impact this will have on cricket in Pakistan and emphasise an ongoing commitment to our main touring plans there for 2022" the statement added.