The ECB wants the story to disappear but the only thing that has disappeared has been its chairman, said Atherton
Former England cricketer-turned-commentator Michael Atherton has stated that England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)’s “silence is deafening” over cancelled tour of Pakistan.
In his column for The Times, Atherton also slammed the ECB’s Chairman Ian Watmore for not fronting up with a “serious response”.
“The board [ECB] assumes it can put out a feeble, mealy-mouthed statement and hide behind it for good, saying nothing more. Pakistan’s cricketers, who spent two months in a biosecure bubble here last summer to help save the game from financial catastrophe, their administrators, who have done so much to get cricket back to that country, and supporters deserve better. The game in this country deserves better,” wrote Atherton.
“Pulling out of a commitment to tour, especially to Pakistan given their recent history of playing cricket in exile, is a serious business and demands a serious response. The ECB wants the story to disappear but the only thing that has disappeared has been its chairman. Watmore has been silent for five days since the cancellation was announced — one day longer than the proposed tour to Pakistan was due to last,” he added.
Atherton also said that Team England Player Partnership (TEPP)’s statement about players not being consulted before the tour was called off “has gone down like a bucket of sick in Pakistan”.
“Why exactly was the tour called off? Cricket supporters in Pakistan and England deserve to know,” he concluded.
It must be noted that England had withdrawn their men’s and women’s teams from next month’s tour of Pakistan, on Monday, inorder to protect the squad’s "physical and mental well-being".
The England teams were each scheduled to play two Twenty20 international matches on October 13 and 14 in Rawalpindi, with the women's side due to stay on for a three-match one-day international series from October 17-21.