Fawad Chaudhry ‘welcomes’ ECB’s announcement to tour Pakistan next year

ECB announcement to visit Pakistan a welcome step: Fawad. (Source: Dawn)

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has welcomed the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) announcement of touring Pakistan next year, while also praising the international community for supporting Pakistan cricket.

“Announcement of ECB to visit Pakistan next year is a welcome step. I would like to thank stars of cricket world, diplomatic community, media and cricket lovers around the world for their support for Pakistan Cricket, yet again Pak has emerged as strong and resilient nation,” he wrote on Twitter.

In another tweet, the Information Minister said, “With the ECB chief now formally apologising for the decision and expressing commitment for revisiting Pakistan next winter.”

The minister’s statement comes in the wake of ECB chief Ian Watmore’s remarks, wherein he apologised for the team’s withdrawal from the Pakistan tour and expressed commitment to visit the country next year.

“We’ve recommitted to a proper tour, a scheduled tour, of Pakistan next year and will get on with planning that. We will have longer to plan that trip,” Watmore was quoted as saying by English newspaper Daily Mail.

Earlier this month, the ECB pulled out of their scheduled tour of Pakistan three days after New Zealand abandoned the series, citing a “security threat” minutes before the first ODI match was scheduled to start at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

The men’s team of England was supposed to tour Pakistan after a gap of 16 years, whereas the women’s team was coming here for the first time to play two T20 matches. Sharing reasons for calling off the tour, the ECB cited concern for the players’ mental and physical well-being.

Last week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had also expressed anger over the ECB’s decision to cancel the tour. British publication The Times had quoted the British premier and senior ministers of the Commonwealth Office as saying that the decision “has damaged relations between the UK and the Pakistan government”.

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