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England cricket chief apologises for cancelling Pakistan tour, vows to return in 2022

ISLAMABAD – England, and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chief Ian Watmore Wednesday apologized for canceling the Pakistan tour at the last minute.

In his first comments following the recent snub that irked Pakistan Cricket officials and diehard fans, he said “I’m very sorry to anyone who feels hurt or let down by our decision, particularly in Pakistan, the decision the board made was an extremely difficult one and the board made it with the primary consideration being the welfare and mental health of our players and staff”.

The 63-year-old added that the ECB took the decision to pull out of the series ‘on its own judgment and did not consult players before taking it’ however he mentioned a ‘proper, rescheduled tour of Pakistan next year’.

“We will get on with planning that. We will have longer to plan that trip,” he said while referring to the upcoming tour.

Following the statement from ECB Chairman, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry hailed England’s announcement to visit Pakistan next year.

“Announcement of ECB to visit Pakistan next year is a welcome step, I would like to thank stars of cricket world, diplomatic community, Media And Cricket lovers around the world on their support for Pakistan Cricket, yet again Pak has emerged as a strong and resilient nation”, he wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also conveyed Pakistan’s disappointment at the decision of the English Cricket Board to cancel the Pakistan tour during his meeting with his British counterpart.

Earlier this month, the ECB issued a statement where they cited the ‘players mental and physical state’ as the primary reason for not touring the country for two T20I matches in October.

That was the second blow for Pakistan after it suffered a major setback when New Zealand cricket dropped a bombshell by quitting its historic tour of Pakistan.

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