Ramiz Raja
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

Ramiz Raja, PCB Chairman, thanked ECB boss Tom Harrison for his commitment to England’s 2022 tour of Pakistan. In a video shared by PCB, Ramiz Raja said that England realized their mistake, having decided to pull out of the 2021 tour.

England’s withdrawal from the tour of Pakistan right after New Zealand’s pull-out from a limited-overs series at Pakistan after several years had left the entire Pakistan cricketing fraternity infuriated. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja didn’t shy away from expressing his disappointment at the development in public but has now thanked the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for their commitment towards fulfilling the 2022 tour.

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of ARY Sports

Ramiz Raja Thankful That ECB Confirmed 2022 Tour To Pakistan

England announced an extended fixture list for the tour of Pakistan, committing to a multi-format assignment for next year that will additionally include two more T20Is. The schedule was announced on Tuesday after ECB boss Tom Harrison met his PCB counterpart in Pakistan.

England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

In a video shared by the PCB, Ramiz Raja didn’t just thank ECB for confirming the 2022 tour but also expressed his happiness to see his counterpart realizing that the pull-out earlier this year was only a knee-jerk reaction.

“I’m thankful to the England Cricket Board (ECB), as it wasn’t easy for them. They were under pressure and we became emotional when the pullout took place. Everyone saw how Pakistan made its case, and the result is they came here.”

“The only thing is we and the ECB must walk together because it’s important for every board to understand each other, their frustrations, meet the expectations. I think the ECB also understood they committed a mistake by withdrawing, and it was a knee-jerk reaction,” Raja said in the video.

England will play the T20I matches in September/October next year. They will then return to Pakistan in November/December at the back of the T20 World Cup in Australia to play three Tests, which will form part of the ICC World Test Championship.

Ramiz Raja Thanked Tom Harrison, Who Traveled All The Way To Pakistan, And He Is Hopeful Of Coming To A Similar Agreement With NZC Too

Tom Harrison travelled all the way to Pakistan to make up for the mistake ECB made by withdrawing their men’s and women’s team squads earlier. Ramiz Raja welcomed Tom Harrison’s gesture and is hopeful of coming to a similar agreement with New Zealand Cricket (NZC) too for the year 2022.

“This tour was important, and it’s their gratefulness. Coming over here to sort things out and accepting their fault and promising to play two additional T20Is is good news for our fans because I believe Pakistan should have a home season so spectators come and watch and top teams should tour.”

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison. (Credits: Twitter)
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison. (Credits: Twitter)

“We are also revisiting New Zealand’s tour, and when I go to Dubai, we might announce a schedule. However, England and Australia tours are massive breakthroughs, and I expect our side to perform well. I want us to be a proud nation and our fans, our team, and the board to be respected. Also, if we are firm and honest, we need not fear anybody,” he said.

Tom Harrison had flown to Pakistan to meet Ramiz Raja in a bid to mend relations that were damaged by the cancellation of last month’s tour. The England men’s team was set to tour Pakistan in October for the first time since 2005, while their women have never played in that country.

However, ECB had cancelled both the series, citing the “mental and physical well-being” of players and security concerns, a decision that was met with heavy criticism.