Cancellation of England's tour of Pakistan removes the final IPL obstacle; all players to be present until the tournament's end

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced their decision to cancel their men’s and women’s tour of Pakistan, which was set for October, on Monday (September 20). The ECB Board met this weekend to review the extra England Women’s and Men’s games in Pakistan, and we confirmed that the Board has regretfully chosen to pull both teams from the October trip, according to an ECB statement.

Someone else’s loss is also someone else’s gain. In the backdrop of the Indian Premier League and the cancellation of England’s tour of Pakistan, the adage rings true.

Meanwhile, the ECB’s decision to withdraw from the series has removed the last remaining obstacle to the IPL 2021, since continuing with the series would have meant all of England’s IPL-bound players missing the tournament’s fag end. If MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings had qualified for the playoffs, they would have been without both Sam Curran and Moeen Ali, while Kolkata Knight Riders would have been without their captain Eoin Morgan.

Tom Curran, Sam Billings (both Delhi Capitals), Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid (both Punjab Kings), Jason Roy (Sunrisers Hyderabad), and George Garton (both Sunrisers Hyderabad) are among the England players who are expected to miss out (RCB). All players will continue to serve their IPL teams now that the series is no longer in doubt.

The news comes just days after New Zealand abruptly cancelled their white-ball trip against Pakistan because of security concerns. New Zealand was set to play three ODIs and five T20Is in Pakistan, their first visit in 18 years.

Speculations that the ECB would follow New Zealand’s lead and cancel their visits were rampant, and they were confirmed three days later, leaving Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Ramiz Raja upset.

“I’m disappointed in England for cancelling their promise and abandoning a member of their cricket brotherhood. We will, inshallah, survive”, on September 20, he tweeted, “A wake-up call for the Pakistani squad to become the top team in the world for teams to line up to face them without making excuses.”

The events have come as a shock to Pakistan, which has been on the verge of resuming cricket after the infamous attack on a Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009. The country has been nearly at a standstill for the better part of a decade.