The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was handed a major setback earlier this month when New Zealand pulled out of the tour minutes before the first ODI in Rawalpindi. The entire cricketing community was taken aback. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) reported that the team was under a “credible threat” and that they had decided to return home.

Following suit, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) refused to send its men’s and women’s teams to Pakistan for a scheduled tour in October. This move drew widespread condemnation around the world. Multiple tour cancellations sparked indignation, with Pakistan’s minister of information and broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhry, stating that the threat to New Zealand came from India. “The email containing the security threats was sent from a linked device in India over VPN, with a Singapore IP address,” Fawad explained.

A senior BCCI official, on the other hand, has categorically denied India’s involvement in any such scheme. “We wish Ramiz Raja the best of luck in leading Pakistan cricket to new heights. We want to make it clear that the BCCI had no hand in the cancellation of the England and New Zealand tour to Pakistan.”, the official stated.

In addition, some former Pakistan cricketers have blamed the Indian Premier League (IPL) for trip cancellations. England’s IPL-bound players were scheduled to fly for Pakistan shortly after the league stage ended on October 8, preventing them from participating in the playoffs. The IPL is being blamed both directly and indirectly for England’s lack of interest in visiting Pakistan.

The BCCI official further said,“I don’t know why some ex-Pakistan players are cursing the IPL for no reason? I read somewhere that Raja said that the Aussie players have even changed their DNA for the sake of the money they make by playing in the IPL. He accused Aussies of playing happily against India without their usual aggressive approach. We understand that you are feeling bad but there is no need to drag India everywhere”.