UK government says it supported England’s Pakistan tour after ECB cancelled trip

The UK government did not advise the England and Wales Cricket Board to cancel England 's planned tour of Pakistan next month, according to its ambassador to the Asian country.

The ECB announced on Monday it had decided to abandon the planned trip, following New Zealand's decision to do the same last week.

The Black Caps had cited security concerns, namely a "specific and credible threat" to the team, as the reason behind their decision not to travel to Pakistan.

England said their reasons were not the same as New Zealand's, citing bubble fatigue and "the mental and physical well-being of our players and support staff" as the main drivers behind their decision.

The ECB had mentioned "increasing concerns about travelling to the region" in its statement, however.

In a video statement on his Twitter account, British high commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner has clarified that the government played no part in the ECB's decision.

"I share the deep sadness of cricket fans that England will not tour Pakistan in October," he said.

"This was a decision made by the ECB, which is independent to the British government and based on concerns for player welfare.

"The British high commission supported the tour, did not advise against it on security grounds and travel advice for Pakistan has not changed.

"I have been a champion of international cricket’s return to Pakistan and will redouble my efforts in advance of England’s autumn 2022 tour."

Turner had said in a separate Tweet: "So sad that the ECB have decided not to come to Pakistan next month. My thanks to Pakistan Cricket and all who worked so hard to get us to this point.

"Understand the disappointment that all cricket fans will feel; still looking forward to the full England tour in autumn 2022."

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Ramiz Raja has accused England of "making excuses" after they pulled out of the tour.

He wrote on Twitter: ""Disappointed with England, pulling out of their commitment and failing a member of their cricket fraternity when it needed it most. Survive we will inshallah.

"A wake up call for Pak team to become the best team in the world for teams to line up to play them without making excuses."

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