England reported to have withdrawn from limited-overs tours to Pakistan

England have withdrawn from their limited overs tours to Pakistan, originally scheduled to take place in October, BBC Sport has reported. Both the men’s and women’s teams have been pulled out of their fixtures, which would have been the first for the men’s side in Pakistan since 2005 and the first ever for the women’s line-up.

The England and Wales Cricket board released a statement on their website, citing reasons of player well-being as the driving force behind the decision. It mentioned that, given the stresses put on the dressing room by the bio-secure living environments made necessary by COVID-19 and regular quarantine regulations, the “increasing concerns” of travelling to the region will only “add further pressure”.

The Pakistan Cricket Board will no doubt be dejected in the aftermath of the decision, one which came after New Zealand abandoned their own tour to the country on Friday, the morning of the first fixture, due to a security threat. The incident raised heated debate on social media, and Pakistan fans especially will be hugely disappointed by the current situation given the previous strides that seemed to have been made to see their team play at home.