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England vs Pakistan

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes
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Ben Stokes Chokes On A Tablet While Being Alone In A Hotel Room Ahead Of Ashes 2021/22

Ben Stokes, England’s all-rounder, feared it “might be the end” after he almost choked on a tablet while alone in his hotel room ahead of the Ashes. The all-rounder, writing in a column, said the tablet had gone down the wrong way and got stuck in his windpipe.

Ben Stokes averages 37.05 in 71 Tests, where he amassed 4631 runs with 10 tons and has also taken 163 scalps averaging 31.38 with the ball in hand. His name wasn’t included in the Ashes 2021/22 initial squad, but the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) later announced that Ben Stokes would be available for the series, which is due to start on December 8.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes. File photo: Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
England all-rounder Ben Stokes. File photo: Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

Ben Stokes Choked On A Tablet While Being Alone In Hotel

The 30-year-old Ben Stokes is a proven match-winner, and his unbeaten 135 in a record run chase at Headingley carried England to a stunning one-wicket victory and ensured the 2019 Ashes were squared.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has revealed that a tablet that was taken wrongly caused him to “choke horribly” and fear for his life ahead of the first Ashes Test against Australia from December 8. Ben Stokes is making a comeback to international cricket after taking a long break to address his mental well-being and rest his left index finger, which was fractured.

“Until it actually came out, I thought this might be the end,” he added. “I was on my own in my room and I couldn’t breathe as it became lodged and started to dissolve. It felt like my mouth was on fire. Without going into too much detail I have never seen as much saliva as I did on Sunday morning, it was a genuinely frightening experience.”

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)

Ben Stokes took an indefinite break from cricket in July to focus on his mental health while also recovering from a second operation on a broken finger, and was a late addition to England’s squad for the tour of Australia.

Ben Stokes Hopes That His Pre Test Dramas Are Over

The 30-year-old all-rounder said the finger injury was coming along really well and that he was in a good place mentally. However, he was given another scare when he took a ball to his forearm during practice that left him in excruciating pain.

“I couldn’t lift it … I thought it was broken,” Stokes added. “Thankfully the pain and reaction settled down once I was back in the dressing room and the physios could be sure it wasn’t actually a break. It was only after I got back to the hotel room that I took stock of what a day I’d had.

“The adrenaline had worn off and I was exhausted. Happy that I’m here to tell the tale, but hoping that my pre-Test dramas are now over.”

The five-Test series is due to begin in Brisbane on December 8. Australia retained the Ashes in 2019 after a 2-2 draw in England. However, an injured Ben Stokes missed the New Zealand and India Test series in England, the second half of IPL 2021 at UAE, T20I World Cup to prioritize his mental wellbeing over cricket.

Ben Stokes Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
Ben Stokes Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

Ben Stokes broke his hand, taking a catch for Rajasthan Royals in India leg of IPL 2021, and a repeat X-ray and CT scan revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger.

Ben Stokes last played for England in the ODI series against Pakistan in July 2021, when he returned to captain the team at short notice after Eoin Morgan and the rest of the initial squad were forced into isolation by a number of Covid-19 positives cases in England camp. His last Test came against India in March 2021.

England’s full squad for The Ashes: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Ben Stokes.

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
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Ramiz Raja Thanked Tom Harrison For His Commitment To England’s 2022 Tour To Pakistan

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.

Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter
Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter
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Joe Root Thrilled With An Addition Of Ben Stokes In England’s Ashes Squad

Joe Root, England Test skipper, has said that he is absolutely thrilled with the addition of Ben Stokes in the Ashes 2021/22 squad, as everyone knows what the all-rounder is capable of.

Ben Stokes had last played in the ODI series against Pakistan, where he captained a young side successfully in the absence of Covid-19 hit original squad, and then he had taken some time to look after his mental health.

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)

Joe Root Elated At The Massive News Of Ben Stokes Availability For Ashes

His name wasn’t included in the Ashes 2021/22 initial squad, but the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) later announced that Ben Stokes would be available for the series, which is due to start on December 8.

“Obviously, it’s massive news. Speak to anyone within the game, whether they’d prefer to have Ben in their team or not, and everyone would say they would. On a personal level, I’m just absolutely thrilled that he’s in a place where he can get back playing and enjoy the sport once again,” Joe Root said.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

“Although we all know what Ben is capable of, we’re still managing expectations. He’s been out of the game a long time, he’s had a serious injury and he’s got a lot of work to do to get himself back to the Ben Stokes we all know. But if there’s one thing we can bet on with Ben it’s that he’ll do everything he can to ready himself and then put in performances that help England win games of cricket,” Joe Root said.

Ben Stokes recently underwent a second surgery on his broken finger. He broke his hand while taking a catch for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League 2021, and a repeat X-ray and CT scan revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger.

Joe Root: Ben Stokes A Massive Aspect In Many Respects

England and Australia will lock horns in five-match Ashes series, beginning December 8 at the Gabba, Brisbane.

“He’s a massive asset in many respects. First and foremost, his performances on the field, especially what he has done against Australia in the recent past. But also the way that he plays his cricket. Look at where we are going: we are going to have periods of play where it’s going to be very challenging. We’re going have to have people stick their hands up and grab the game – he is someone who will always do that,” Joe Root said.

Ben Stokes . Image Credits: ECB
Ben Stokes: Image Credits: ECB

“He’ll lead from the front in that respect, he is a brilliant leader in the dressing room and people follow him. They look at how he works, how he practices, how he goes about his cricket. And they all want to go along with him.

“That’s a great trait to have, along with being capable of performing how he does. It’s a huge boost for balancing the side as well, as he has done for such a long time now. Everything about the way he goes about things is going to be great for us,” he added.

Ben Stokes had undergone a secondary operation on his finger last month, to remove scar tissue. He averages 37.05 in 71 Tests, where he amassed 4631 runs with 10 tons and has also taken 163 scalps averaging 31.38 with the ball in hand. The left-handed batsman played one of the greatest Ashes knocks in the memorable Leeds Test in 2019.

Chasing an improbable 359-run target, England looked down and out at 286-9. However, in the company of last man Jack Leach, Ben Stokes helped England pull off one of the most thrilling one-wicket heists in Test history. It was largely due to Ben Stokes’ 135*, England could force a share of the spoils.

England’s full squad for The Ashes: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Ben Stokes.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket
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Joe Root Excited On The Return Of Ben Stokes To England’s Ashes 2021/22 Squad

Joe Root, England skipper, has welcomed all-rounder Ben Stokes’s return to the Ashes squad, saying that it’s the most exciting thing for him to see star all-rounder’s return to cricket after a break.

Ben Stokes had taken an indefinite break from cricket in July to focus on his mental health and recover from a finger injury. He was not included in England’s initial squad for the Ashes 2021-22 series.

Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter
Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter

Joe Root Excited As Ben Stokes Ready To Play Cricket Again In The Ashes 2021/22

However, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) later announced that Ben Stokes would be available for the series, which is due to start on December 8.

“I’d got an inkling. I’d had some good conversations with Ben over the period while he’s not been playing. It was just such a joy to hear him speak, you could almost hear his smile, if that makes sense, on the phone. You could tell he was so much happier within himself.

“Just the fact he feels he’s in a place where he’s ready to play cricket again is the most exciting thing,” Joe Root said.

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)

The England captain also praised Ben Stokes’s honesty, adding that they made it very clear to him that he has to be in the right space to go and play.

“We made it very clear to Ben, it’s got to be right for you. You have to be in the right space to go and play, physically and mentally. One thing about Ben, he’s very honest, he won’t shirk any difficult conversations and he’s been true to that through the whole thing.

“We have been through a lot on and off the field. To see him now back in a place where he is able to enjoy his cricket again and feel more himself, that’s the best part of the whole thing. It’s just really exciting,” Joe Root added.

Ben Stokes had decided not to participate in the England-India Test series, the second half of IPL 2021 at UAE, and the T20I World Cup to prioritize his mental well-being over cricket. He, however, would return for Ashes.

Ben Stokes Last Featured For England In ODI Series Against Pakistan

Unfortunately, Ben Stokes broke his hand, taking a catch for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League 2021, and a repeat X-ray and CT scan revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger. Ben Stokes recently underwent a second surgery on his broken finger.

Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes -Getty
Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes -Getty

Ben Stokes last played for England in the ODI series against Pakistan in July, when he returned to captain the team at short notice after Eoin Morgan and the rest of the squad were forced into isolation by a number of Covid-19 positives. He batted twice and bowled a handful of overs, as England won the series 3-0, but only played twice in the Hundred thereafter before stepping away from the game indefinitely.

Ben Stokes averages 37.05 in 71 Tests, where he amassed 4631 runs with 10 tons and has also taken 163 scalps averaging 31.38 with the ball in hand.

Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Hype Around India-Pakistan 2021 T20I World Cup Match Is Created By The Social Media And Fans: Mohammad Rizwan

On Saturday, Pakistan’s vice-captain Mohammad Rizwan, said that social media and fans create the hype around the India-Pakistan match. Pertinently, Pakistan will open its T20 World Cup campaign against India on October 24.

However, it’s worth noting that the Men in Green are yet to beat their arch-rivals in a World Cup game in 12 encounters across the T20I and 50-over editions.

We will consider it like any other game: Mohammad Rizwan

Mohammad Rizwan has been in red-hot form in T20s in 2021. (Shaun Botterill/Getty)
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

India and Pakistan faced each other in the round-robin stage of the 2019 ODI World Cup, where the former won by 89 runs (DLS method). Their last T20 World Cup face-off resulted in India’s 6-wicket win over Men in Green in Kolkata in the 2016 edition.

However, due to the unfortunate political situation, the two teams haven’t played a bilateral series since 2012-13. Pakistan and India’s last bilateral ties at either of the two neighbouring countries were 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs in India way back in 2012.

Rizwan further maintained that they will take it as another game further aiming to do well against a solid Indian side led by Virat Kohli.

“This India-Pakistan match, we will consider it like any other game. The hype is being created by the social media and fans, which is fine, but in our hearts and minds, we will consider this game the same as one against any other side. Because, if we as players take on the additional pressure of this game, then that won’t be as good as it has happened before,” said Rizwan during a virtual press conference.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan has had a staggering 2021 so far in the shortest format for Pakistan. In just 17 games, he has scored a hundred, as well as seven half-centuries averaging 94. Mohammad Rizwan had a brilliant series against England, where he scored 176 runs in three innings. Although Pakistan lost the series 2-1, he feels the team got a great understanding of their preparation for the T20 World Cup.

The 29-year-old averages just under 49 after 43 T20s, and has risen to seventh in the ICC rankings for batters. He had a stellar 20-over series recently in England, with scores of 63, 37, and 76 not out as the men in green put up a good fight before losing the series 2-1. Mohammad Rizwan amassed 176 runs in the series averaging 88, and topped the batting charts, while Babar Azam was 3rd on the list with 118 runs averaging 39.33.

Mohammad Rizwan: None Of The Sides Has An Advantage Playing In The UAE

Mohammad Rizwan also ruled out the fact that playing in the UAE will give Pakistan an upper hand as they have played a lot of cricket on UAE soil.

“I have never been a believer in the fact that anyone side, including Pakistan, has any special advantage in UAE or anywhere else,” he said.

“All we can say is that the tournament is being held in Asia as I consider the UAE to be in Asia. Yes, we have been playing there for a while and we used to say that UAE is our home ground but I never accepted that because the pitches there, from what I understood, were made with soil from Australia or from other parts of the world,” he added.

Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters
Sarfaraz Ahmed. Photo Credit: Reuters.
“So, even if UAE was called our home ground, that was not the case,” he signed off.
Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali have replaced Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain, respectively, while Fakhar Zaman, originally named a travel reserve, has swapped places with Khushdil Shah. In addition, veteran batsman Shoaib Malik has been included in Pakistan’s Twenty20 World Cup squad, replacing top-order batsman Sohaib Maqsood, who was ruled out due to a back problem, selectors said Saturday.

Shoaib Malik captained Pakistan in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 and was a member of the side that won the tournament in 2009. He played the last of his 116 Twenty20 internationals against England in September last year.

Michael Atherton
Michael Atherton
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ECB’s Silence On Pulling Out Of Pakistan Tour Is Deafening: Michael Atherton

Michael Atherton has questioned the England Cricket Board on their silence on the decision to withdraw from the scheduled tour to Pakistan in October.  England was scheduled to travel to Rawalpindi in October for two Twenty20 Internationals, in what was supposed to be their first visit to Pakistan since 2005.

Almost a week after the England Cricket Board (ECB) announced their shock withdrawal from a scheduled tour to Pakistan in October, the reactions to the decision from the cricket fraternity are still coming on. The English cricket governing body has faced scathing criticism from various quarters across the globe for the move with a lack of clarity on why the decision was taken.

Michael Atherton Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
Michael Atherton Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

Michael Atherton: ECB’s Silence Is Deafening

One of the fiercest critics of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is Michael Atherton. The former England captain has accused the board of trying to hide behind a ‘feeble, mealy-mouthed’ statement and asked them to break their silence on the issue.

In his column, Michael Atherton wrote “The ECB’s silence is deafening. The board assumes it can put out a feeble, mealy-mouthed statement and hide behind it for good, saying nothing more. 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.”

England and Wales Cricket Board
England and Wales Cricket Board

After the ECB announced its decision, its counterparts were furious, especially PCB chairman Ramiz Raja. Ramiz Raja was disappointed as England failed to return the favour they did to them in 2020 by touring the nation under challenging circumstances arising due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) cited “increasing concerns about travelling to the Pakistan region” just days after New Zealand also pulled out of the Pakistan tour over security concerns. The England and Pakistan T20I bilateral series was supposed to be part of the preparation ahead of the next month’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

New Zealand pulled out of their Pakistan tour even before play started in the 1st ODI in Rawalpindi. For years, Pakistan has played most of their home matches in the UAE, which has become a home away from the original home for its players after international teams refused to travel to the country following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009.

Michael Atherton: Pakistan Deserved Better For Touring England Which Was At Peak Of Covid-19

He further slammed ECB for letting down a board who toured the country at the peak of the COVID-19 last summer which helped English cricket to remain financially sustainable in the pandemic.

“Pakistan’s cricketers, who spent two months in a biosecure bubble here last summer to help save the game from financial catastrophe, their administrators, who have done so much to get cricket back to that country, and supporters deserve better. The game in this country deserves better,” said Michael Atherton. 

He further questioned who made the final decision to quit the Pakistan tour referring to a statement made by PCB chairman Ramiz Raja who implied that it was a move out of the ECB’s hands.

“The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Ramiz Raja, revealed this week that his opposite number, Ian Watmore, implied the decision was out of his, Watmore’s, hands.”

“He appeared as if there were other influencers who really made the call in the end on his behalf,”  wrote Atherton. 

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

The cricketer-turned broadcaster blamed the ECB for wanting the story to disappear instead of answering questions.  England’s men’s side was scheduled to play a two-match T20 series in Pakistan while the women’s team was supposed to play 2 WT20I’s and 3 WODI’s. ECB’s decision came just days after New Zealand cancelled their series in the country just minutes before the first game citing a ‘security threat.’

England and Wales Cricket Board
England and Wales Cricket Board
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ECB Never Asked Players Whether Pakistan Tour Should Go Ahead: Team England Player Partnership (TEPP)

ECB is under fire from all quarters for cancelling the tour of Pakistan. England and Wales Cricket Board who to date was shielding themselves by claiming that the tour was cancelled only after discussion with the players – are now embarrassed by their own team.

The England cricketers’ union has denied rumours of players having a role in the England and Wales Cricket Board cancelling next month’s tour of Pakistan. Much to the dismay of the PCB, its counterparts abandoned the visit, citing potential bio-bubble exhaustion. However, news has emerged that the England and Wales Cricket Board did not ask the cricketers if they wanted to play in Pakistan.

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

ECB Never Asked Players’ Opinions Before Pak Tour Cancellation: Team England Player Partnership (TEPP)

Moreover, the players’ union’s official statement debunked rumours of its intervention to stop the Pakistan tour from going ahead. A TEPP official said that the ECB hadn’t even consulted with the players before abandoning the series. The association also denied claims of the players’ refusal to tour Pakistan.

“At no stage has the ECB ever asked Team England Player Partnership or the teams, men and women, whether the tour should go ahead or whether players were prepared to tour Pakistan. At no stage has Team England Player Partnership informed the ECB that the players would not be touring.”

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

After the ECB announced its decision, its counterparts were furious, especially PCB chairman Ramiz Raja. Ramiz Raja was disappointed in England for failing to return the favour they did to them in 2020 by touring the nation under challenging circumstances arising due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) cited “increasing concerns about travelling to the region” just days after New Zealand also pulled out of the Pakistan tour over security concerns. The T20I bilateral series was supposed to be part of the preparation ahead of the next month’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. New Zealand pulled out of their Pakistan tour even before play started in the 1st ODI in Rawalpindi.

ECB Met Last Sunday To Debate The Pakistan Tour And Information Of The Cancelled Tour Came In The Afternoon: Team England Player Partnership (TEPP)

The spokesperson further revealed that the ECB met on Sunday and decided to cancel the tour, informing them in the afternoon. Hence, the players did not influence the apex body’s decision. After New Zealand, England calls off the Pakistan tour due to security concerns.

“The ECB board met last Sunday to debate the tour to Pakistan. That afternoon we were informed the tour had been cancelled. Team England Player Partnership was not asked for our input and we were not involved in the decision to cancel the tour.”

ECB Never Asked Players Whether Pakistan Tour Should Go Ahead- PTI
ECB Never Asked Players Whether Pakistan Tour Should Go Ahead- PTI

After the ECB scrapped next month’s tour, the PCB has started making contingency plans ahead of its scheduled home series against England in 2022. Ramiz Raja has already expressed his lack of faith in the ECB, given England’s multi-format series in Pakistan in October 2022.

Team England Player Partnership (TEPP) said that they were in the dark and were told about the cancellation of the tour after the ECB members themselves met on Sunday. England players have strongly denied any reports of them denying to tour Pakistan after the ECB pulled out of the limited-overs series in Pakistan.
England was in line to play two T20Is in the build-up to the forthcoming T20 World Cup 2021, while the women’s team was scheduled to feature in five matches on the trip to Pakistan. Already reeling from New Zealand’s last-minute tour abandonment, Pakistan suffered another massive jolt on Monday as ECB pulled out both its men’s and women’s teams from the tour of the country.
NZ Women Image: Twitter@WHITE_FERNS
NZ Women Image: Twitter@WHITE_FERNS
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New Zealand Cricket Boosted Security Around Women’s Team Touring UK

New Zealand Cricket on Tuesday boosted security around the women’s national team currently touring Britain as a precaution after a threatening email was received by English officials. Neither of the two teams trained at the ground on Monday, avoiding any chance of an attack.

New Zealand Cricket, which last week abruptly abandoned the Black Caps’ Pakistan tour over security fears for the men’s team, said the latest threat was ultimately deemed “not credible”. But New Zealand Cricket said the communication received by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) prompted increased security around the White Ferns women’s team, which is due to play England in Leicester on Tuesday.

New Zealand women
New Zealand women. (Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)

New Zealand Cricket Boosted Security Around Women Team In UK

The latest development came as English cricket chiefs withdrew their men’s and women’s teams from next month’s white-ball series in Pakistan, citing “increasing concerns about travelling to the region”. That decision came in the wake of the Black Caps’ dramatic withdrawal from the Pakistan tour on Friday, moments before the first one-day international was due to start at Rawalpindi Stadium.

New Zealand Cricket has refused to detail what prompted the action beyond saying it had been advised of a “specific and credible threat”.

“The ECB has received a threatening email relating to New Zealand Cricket. Although this did not specifically reference the White Ferns, it was treated seriously, investigated, and deemed not credible,” the governing body said in a statement.

“The White Ferns have now arrived in Leicester and, as a precaution, security around them has been boosted.”

NZ Women vs England Women Getty Images
NZ Women vs England Women Getty Images

The third WODI of the series between England and New Zealand looks set to go ahead in Leicester after a security threat was deemed by New Zealand Cricket to be “not credible”. The 3rd England Women vs New Zealand Women match in the 5-match series will continue despite the security threat faced by the NZ team which is being probed.

The England women side led by Heather Knight is leading the five-match England Women vs New Zealand Women series 2-0 with three more matches to play.

England And New Zealand’s Pakistan Tour Cancellations Are A Huge Setback

According to Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Pakistan leader Imran Khan that the team feared an attack outside the stadium. The England and New Zealand cancellations are a huge setback for Pakistan, which has been trying to revive tours by foreign sides after home internationals were suspended in the aftermath of a terror attack on the Sri Lankan side in 2009.

Pakistan and New Zealand Prime Ministers Imran Khan and Jacinda Ardern. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Pakistan and New Zealand Prime Ministers Imran Khan and Jacinda Ardern. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

There will also be questions raised about planned tours to Pakistan by the West Indies in December and Australia in February next year. The New Zealand men’s team arrived in Dubai on Sunday on a charter flight from Pakistan’s Islamabad, with players not involved in next month’s Twenty20 World Cup in the UAE returning to New Zealand as soon as flights and quarantine facilities can be arranged.

England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
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It’s Sensible To Try And Move England’s Pakistan Games To The UAE: Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain on Sunday stated that it would be ‘sensible’ to move matches against Pakistan to UAE rather than completely cancelling the tour. England is scheduled to travel to Rawalpindi in October for two Twenty20 Internationals, in what will be their first visit to Pakistan since 2005.

Michael Vaughan’s statement came after the Blackcaps abandoned their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert on Friday.

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021
Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021. Image Credits: Twitter

Michael Vaughan: It’s Sensible To Try And Move England’s Pakistan Games To The UAE Rather Than Cancelling The Tour

New Zealand was slated to play their first match on Pakistan soil since 2003. The side was to play hosts on Friday in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi, before moving to Lahore for a five-match T20 series.

Michael Vaughan has suggested a way to salvage England’s upcoming limited-overs tour of Pakistan, which looks in doubt after the New Zealand men’s team abandoned a white-ball tour of the Asian country citing security concerns moments before toss in the 1st ODI between the two teams. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is under pressure not to send its men’s and women’s teams to Pakistan and has asked its security experts for a report.

Michael Vaughan reckoned the series should be moved to the UAE “if it’s deemed unsafe to travel”. Although some international cricket and the Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches have happened in the country, major Test nations are yet to travel to Pakistan for full-fledged tours. West Indies are scheduled to travel to Pakistan later this year. Australia is also due to tour Pakistan early next year.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

“It would seem sensible to me to try and move England’s Pakistan games to the UAE rather than cancel the tour if it’s deemed unsafe to travel .. !! Hopefully the games for the Men’s & Women teams can take place rather than a full cancellation,” tweeted Michael Vaughan.

For years, Pakistan has played most of their home matches in the UAE, which has become a home away from the original home for its players after international teams refused to travel to the country following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009. But it is to be seen whether the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will agree to take their games back to UAE after having hosted some international teams at home.

Six years after the 2009 incident, Zimbabwe became the first Full Member to play in the country in 2015 in a limited-overs series. While not an international match, the 2017 Pakistan Super League final was undoubtedly the biggest game played in Pakistan since 2009. In the same year, captained by Faf du Plessis, a World XI side played the home side in a three-match T20I series, which they lost 2-1.

New Zealand Team Arrived In Dubai After Tour Cancellation

Earlier in the day, the New Zealand men’s cricket team arrived in UAE’s city Dubai after leaving Islamabad on a charter flight. The contingent of as many as 34 players and support staff are now settling into their Dubai hotel and undergoing their 24-hour period of self-isolation.
New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team-AFP

Of this group, 24 will return to their country New Zealand over the next week or so, as flights and MIQ rooms in New Zealand become available. The MIQ arrangements initially booked for all of these squad members at the end of the Pakistan tour will now be cancelled. The balance of the touring party will remain in the UAE and join up with the Black Caps T20 World Cup squad, ahead of that marquee tournament which will commence on October 17.

Warner was given out since it shows Umpire’s Call on review while the Original decision was OUT (Image Source: Twitter)
Warner was given out since it shows Umpire’s Call on review while the Original decision was OUT (Image Source: Twitter)
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Decision Review System (DRS) Won’t Be Available In New Zealand-Pakistan Series As PCB And Producers Or Broadcasters Failed To Find An ICC Approved DRS Provider

Decision Review System (DRS) will not be used during Pakistan’s upcoming limited-overs home series against New Zealand due to the non-availability of an ICC approved provider for the technology.

The Pakistan Cricket Board and the producers/broadcasters of the series could not find an approved provider of the technology required to run the system during the series which begins on September 17, according to a source.

Pakistan vs New Zealand — AFP/File
Pakistan vs New Zealand — AFP/File

Decision Review System (DRS) Won’t Be Available In NZ-Pak Series As PCB And Producers Or Broadcasters Failed To Find An ICC Approved DRS Provider

There will be no Decision Review System (DRS) available to the teams if match officials make any mistake during Pakistan’s home series against New Zealand this month. The PCB confirmed on Thursday that DRS would not be used during three ODIs and five T20Is between Pakistan and New Zealand starting from September 17.

“Member Boards can only have DRS technology providers who are approved by the International Cricket Council,” one source said.

Decision Review System-Virat Kohli calls for review using DRS (Image Source: Getty Images)
Decision Review System-Virat Kohli calls for review using DRS (Image Source: Getty Images)

He said the DRS technology will be available for the two T20 Internationals against England in October in Lahore. The New Zealand series will have three ODIs and five T20 Internationals. Rawalpindi will host the ODIs to be played on September 17, 19, and 21 while the T20Is will be played in Lahore on September 25, 25, 29, October 1, and 3.

Decision Review System Provider Not Found As The Rights Were Sold Very Late

Another source said the problem of not being able to find a DRS technology provider and the operator had arisen as the PCB sold the media rights of the New Zealand series very late.

“The rights were sold very late and that is why this problem has arisen. The result is the series will be without DRS technology on television. There was so much international cricket being played around the world at this time that equipment technology provision will have to be arranged well in advance, ” said the source.

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

However, the source was hopeful that the PCB will manage to have the technology and its operators during the two-match T20I series against England next month.

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