England accused of having a "very short memory" after cancelling Pakistan tour

Former England captain Charlotte Edwards has criticised the ECB for its decision to cancel the tour of Pakistan next month.

The ECB cited the "mental and physical well-being of our players and support staff" as the main reason behind the decision and it has been confirmed that the British government did not advise against touring Pakistan because of security concerns.

Despite New Zealand pulling out of their tour because of a "specific and credible" security threat, the British high commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner has clarified that the ECB's decision was not made "on security grounds".

He said: "This was a decision made by the ECB, which is independent to the British government and based on concerns for player welfare.

"The British high commission supported the tour, did not advise against it on security grounds and travel advice for Pakistan has not changed."

Speaking on Sky Sports, Edwards said the ECB's decision shows they "have a very short memory" after Pakistan "did a huge amount to get cricket on in this country last summer".

She said: "If it was security I would have no problem and we probably wouldn't be having this conversation right now, we'd probably be going 'fair enough'.

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"But the fact that it's workloads again…they knew five months ago that the tours were backing up, they knew what their programme was for the next however many years…

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"I'm so disappointed for the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board). They did a huge amount to get cricket on in this country last summer, and I think we seem to have a very short memory."

Former England batter Ebony Rainford-Brent added: "The key thing that's standing out is that statement is nothing to do with security issues or concerns.

"That is around player fatigue and maybe player power that is going on in the background. It sounds like the players do not want to go for various reasons.

"I appreciate we are in the middle of a pandemic, but in the scheme of the big picture of cricket that's not really in the spirit of cricket. You think of what Pakistan did for us – England.

"In the middle of a pandemic they went from a low-risk area to the highest risk, had to quarantine with no vaccine programme because we were under concerns around broadcast issues.

"Now I suppose we flip it around where they need this to keep the lifeblood of Pakistan cricket and international cricket back at home, and I feel that we could have returned the favour."

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