ECB urged team to go ahead for Pakistan tour by UK Govt: The Times


LONDON: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was “urged to go ahead as planned” for the Pakistan tour by the British government officials, according to a report by The Times.

The report, published on Thursday, mentioned that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was also "angry" with the ECB over the decision to abandon the Pakistan tour, while ministers believe that the decision has "damaged the relations between the two countries."

“There were consultations between the ECB and officials from No 10, the Foreign Office and the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport before announcing the cancellation of the tour in which the governing body was urged to go ahead as planned,” The Times reported.

“The subsequent decision to ignore those pleas and cancel the tour on the grounds of the physical and mental wellbeing of the players has enraged ministers. They believe it has damaged the work being done to improve relations between the UK and Pakistan at a time when they are particularly important,” it added.

The report also mentioned that PM Johnson is understood to be “angry over the ECB’s decision” to cancel the men’s and women’s white-ball tour to Pakistan next month stating that the prime minister and senior ministers within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office believe that the decision has damaged relations between the UK and the Pakistan government.

The Times report also hinted that ECB was keen on trying to find a way for the tour to go ahead but it was an intervention from the Team England Player Partnership (TEPP) — a unit within the players’ union that represents England’s centrally contracted players — that stopped the tour.

It also highlighted the fact that TEPP represents only contracted players which would have allowed the ECB to explore the idea of taking a team of county cricketers. “But it is understood this option was not explored,” the report said.

The report also mentioned that the ECB took the decision that the short tour to Pakistan “was not the battle it wanted to have with the players’ representatives.” “In calling off the tour to Pakistan, the ECB can turn its attention to making sure that the Ashes takes place as planned,” the report stated.

Meanwhile, in yet another acknowledgement of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s efforts to counter the effects of climate change, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson highlighted Pakistan’s 10 Billion Trees Tsunami project during his speech in the United Nations on Wednesday, reports Geo News.

Boris called for following the example of Imran Khan to plant 10 billion trees and told world leaders that humanity has to "grow up" and tackle climate change. "I invite everybody to follow the example of Imran Khan of Pakistan who has pledged to plant 10 billion trees," he said.

The billion tree project has been acknowledged worldwide as the much-needed step towards minimising environmental losses. Johnson said it’s now or never if the world was to meet its goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Johnson is due to host a major United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, in six weeks’ time. He is using his trip to UN Headquarters in New York to press governments for tougher emissions-cutting targets and more money to help poor countries clean up their economies.

Amid the metaphors, the British leader made a series of calls for action to the UN member states, including: to restrain the rise in temperature to 1.5 degrees; to pledge collectively to achieve carbon neutrality – net zero – by the middle of the century; all countries to step up and commit to very substantial carbon reductions by 2030, in particular with coal, cars, cash and trees; the developing world to end the use of coal power by 2040 and the developed world to do so by 2030; China to phase out the domestic use of coal; only zero-emission vehicles to be on sale across the world by 2040; every country to cut carbon by 68%; to halt and reverse the loss of trees and biodiversity by 2030; all nations to follow the example of Prime Minister Imran Khan to plant 10 billion trees, and, governments to work with the financial institutions – the IMF and the World Bank – to leverage trillions of dollars in the private sector.

Johnson concluded his speech with a plea for world leaders to do right by the next generations. England, New Zealand cancel Pakistan tour Pakistan cricket suffered another great setback last week when England cancelled its Pakistan tour after New Zealand pulled out earlier.

Expressing regret, the ECB had said, "We understand that this decision will be a significant disappointment to the PCB", who have worked tirelessly to host the return of international cricket in their country.

On September 17, moments before the ODI series opener at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) board backed out of the much-awaited tour, citing a supposed "security alert" from their government.

The Pakistani authorities assured the team of complete security, but it insisted on calling off the series. The PCB had said that New Zealand Cricket's decision to pull their players from the series was a "unilateral" decision taken by the Kiwis without consulting the PCB.

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