British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner, in a video message a day after England had abandoned their tour to Pakistan, said that England Cricket Board (ECB), an independent of the British government, made the decision to cancel their Pakistan Tour.
According to him, the British High Commission in Islamabad did not order England to abandon the tour to Pakistan.
Turner took to Twitter on Tuesday to share the message.
According to the ambassador, the British High Commission approved the visit, did not advise against it, and its travel advice for Pakistan has not altered.
— Christian Turner (@CTurnerFCDO) September 21, 2021
According to the ambassador, “This was a decision made by the ECB, which is independent of the British government, based on concerns for player welfare.”
“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 added.
The ambassador expressed his sadness and hoped to soon hear the “roar of full cricket stadiums again” and thanked all officials at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) who had worked extremely hard to bring international cricket back to the country.
After the England and New Zealand cricket teams cancelled their visits to Pakistan only hours before the high commissioner’s video message, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said the term “absolutely not” comes at a cost that nations must pay if they want to have their heads held high.
Prime Minister Imran Khan stated unequivocally in June that Pakistan will “absolutely not” provide military sites to the US for operations in Afghanistan following the latter’s army withdrawal – months before the Taliban seized over the nation.
In a scathing response to the ECB’s postponement of the visit, PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja expressed his displeasure with England.