ISLAMABAD: Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he raised the issue of unilateral cancellation of England’s cricket tour to Pakistan with his counterpart during his recent visit to Britain.
Qureshi reacted to the resignation of England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) chairman, saying that “Pakistan’s viewpoint seems to have been registered” by the board.
In a statement, the foreign minister said the cricket fans were disappointed with the cancellation of the tour of England cricket team to Pakistan. He said the visit cancellation by England team without any consultation caused loss to the state television, Pakistan Cricket Board, and people of Pakistan.
Qureshi said British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss told him that the cancellation of the tour was not the decision of the government but the cricket board.
“We raised the issue of the ECB taking a unilateral decision to cancel the Pakistan tour and how it disappointed cricket fans,” he said, adding that yhe British minister assured that she would convey reservations to the England Cricket Board.
“The UK foreign secretary assured us that she would convey our grievances to the ECB and, with the resignation of Ian Watmore, it seems that Pakistan’s viewpoint has been registered by the board,” Qureshi reiterated.
He said such decisions caused issues for the players and cricket fans, adding the England team should look at its schedule to determine when it could visit Pakistan again.
Earlier ECB chief Ian Watmore resigned from his post after increasing pressure since the cancellation of England’s tour to Pakistan.
Watmore served as the chairman of the ECB for only 13 months, despite having been appointed for a five-year term. According to British media, he is leaving after consultations with the board of directors this week and his resignation will go into effect immediately.