The England and Wales Cricket Board has abandoned their tour of Pakistan citing "concerns about travelling to the region".
The England men's team were supposed to play two T20Is in Pakistan ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 on 13 and 14 October. The women's team was to tour the region simultaneously for a limited-overs series comprising two T20Is and three ODIs.
However, ECB have decided to withdraw its teams from the tour. "The ECB has a longstanding commitment to tour Pakistan as part of the Men's Future Tours Programme in 2022," their statement read.
"The ECB Board convened this weekend to discuss these extra England Women's and Men's games in Pakistan and we can confirm that the Board has reluctantly decided to withdraw both teams from the October trip.
"The mental and physical well-being of our players and support staff remains our highest priority and this is even more critical given the times we are currently living in. We know there are increasing concerns about travelling to the region and believe that going ahead will add further pressure to a playing group who have already coped with a long period of operating in restricted Covid environments.
The Black Caps have abandoned the tour of Pakistan following a security alert from the New Zealand government.— ICC (@ICC) September 17, 2021
"There is the added complexity for our Men's T20 squad. We believe that touring under these conditions will not be ideal preparation for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, where performing well remains a top priority for 2021.
"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. Their support of English and Welsh cricket over the last two summers has been a huge demonstration of friendship. We are sincerely sorry for the impact this will have on cricket in Pakistan and emphasise an ongoing commitment to our main touring plans there for 2022."
The ECB's decision to call off the tour comes days after the New Zealand men's side withdrew from their limited-overs series in Pakistan citing a "security alert" from their government.