Sports World

Pakistan stares at $25 million loss as New Zealand and England cancel cricket tours

Pakistan’s newly appointed cricket board chairman lashed out at the “Western bloc” who he said “used and binned” his country in the wake of New Zealand and England cancelling their tours of the South Asian country.

On Monday, England called off their men’s and women’s teams tours of Pakistan scheduled for October citing “mental and physical well-being” of the players. England’s visit to the South Asian country would have been the first in 16 years.

The announcement came just three days after New Zealand’s abrupt abandonment of their tour minutes before the opening fixture in Rawalpindi on Friday following a “security alert” from their government.

“How I wish today that I was still a YouTuber rather than the chairman of the cricket board, because I would have absolutely taken on New Zealand and England unabashedly,” Pakistan Cricket Board’s chairman Ramiz Raja said at a virtual news conference.

“It’s the feeling of being used and then binned – that is the feeling that I have right now,” the former Pakistan captain said. “I certainly feel that we are up against a Western mindset, a Western bloc.”

Raja pointed out Pakistan’s trips to New Zealand and England last year amid the COVID-19 situation and felt the withdrawals by them would have a domino effect.

“West Indies could be a little jittery and we know that the Australians will probably do what the New Zealanders and England have done. So there goes our domestic international calendar.”

Cricket Australia has said it would “talk with the relevant authorities once more information becomes known” in advance of its scheduled tour early next year.

Shunned by all after the deadly 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore, Pakistan’s “home” matches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been played with limited fan support and earned the PCB little in the way of revenue.

According to media reports, the PCB is facing losses of $15 million to $25 million due to the tour cancellations.