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'Severly disappointed' PCB chief Ramiz Raja says Pakistan will look after their own interest

·3-min read

Islamabad: Ramiz Raja, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, says the "western bloc" seems united after England became the second country to refuse to play in Pakistan.

"I am severely disappointed in England's withdrawal but it was expected because this western bloc gets united unfortunately and tries to back each other," Ramiz said in a video message.

The England and Wales Cricket Board withdrew their men's and women's teams from a tour of Pakistan for a limited-overs series next month, citing increased concerns about travelling to the region. It also cited player fatigue ahead of the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

New Zealand abandoned their tour to Pakistan last week moments before the toss for the first ODI at Rawalpindi. It did not give details of any security threats it had received.

"There was a sense of anger because first New Zealand got away without sharing information about the threat they were facing," said Raja, who took over as the PCB chairman on 13 September.

"This (England) decision was expected but this is a lesson for us because we go out of our way to accommodate and pamper these sides when they visit."

Pakistan have twice toured England since the pandemic and traveled to New Zealand and the West Indies. The PCB had lined up a domestic season with teams like New Zealand, England, West Indies, and Australia.

Pakistan were supposed to play at least 12 Twenty20s ahead of the World Cup, but with the withdrawal of both England and New Zealand it will go into the event with just one completed T20. This was against the West Indies.

Raja said this put into question matches against the West Indies and Australia.

"We have a West Indies series that can also be hit, and Australia who are already reconsidering. This England, Australia, and New Zealand are all one block. Who can we complain to?"

Raja said Zimbabwe were willing to play in Pakistan to fill the gap left by both New Zealand and England. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had offered to send their second-string teams. However, all these suggested tours could not materialise due to "logistical difficulties," Raja said.

Pakistan have scheduled their own domestic National T20 Cup in which all the World Cup players are going to participate. Raja said Pakistan has set its target to beat at least three teams.

"We had one team in our target, our neighbors (India), now add two more teams, New Zealand and England," Raja said.

Also See: Ramiz Raja elected unopposed as Pakistan Cricket Board chairman for three years

PCB chief Ramiz Raja orders raise in monthly retainers of domestic cricketers

Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja set to become PCB chairman on 13 September

Read more on First Cricket News by Firstpost.

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