Christian Turner - the British High Commissioner to Pakistan - insists the ECB decided on their own to cancel the October T20 tour, the UK government did not advise against it over any security concerns and he shares the "deep sadness" of supporters
Tuesday 21 September 2021 17:59, UK
The British High Commissioner to Pakistan says they did not advise England against touring the country this October - it was a decision made purely by the ECB.
Christian Turner says he shares "the deep sadness of cricket fans" having not changed the travel advice to Pakistan, and he intends to make sure England tour there in Autumn 2022.
After the Pakistan Cricket Board's chairman Ramiz Raja accused England of "failing a member of the cricket fraternity", Turner said: "I am sad.
"This was a decision made by the ECB, which is independent of the British government, based on concerns for player welfare.
"The British High Commission supported the tour, did not advise against it on security grounds, and our 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.
"My thanks to all at the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) who have worked so hard in support of that. I hope that we'll soon hear the roar of full cricket stadiums again. In the end, cricket will be victorious."
The historic trip, which would have been the first by an England women's team and the first by their male counterparts since 2005, was in doubt after New Zealand pulled out of their own series in Pakistan on Friday citing a security threat.
The men's matches, which were intended to act as a warm-up for the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, were scheduled to be played in Rawalpindi on October 13 and 14. England's women were also scheduled to play two T20 matches against Pakistan on the same dates as the men.