Pakistan v England: Aatif Nawaz on England's withdrawal from upcoming Twenty20 tour

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The Pakistani men visited England earlier in the year to play three internationals and three Twenty20s.

Aatif Naz is both a Test Match Special commentator and comedian as well as an actor, writer, and comedian. He shares the deep emotions of Pakistan cricket fans over England's decision to not play in the upcoming tour.

Heartbroken, disappointed, and betrayed

Although it's been over 24 hours since the announcement of England's withdrawal from next month's Pakistan tour was made, these are still three words that I would use to describe my feelings.

First New Zealand's men cancelled their trip to Pakistan due to a "specific threat". Then, just four days later, England withdrew.

England's men would face Pakistan in two Twenty20s in Rawalpindi on 13 and 14 Oct. These were double-headers with Pakistani women.

The women were to then play one-day internationals on 17-19 and 21 October.

The England and Wales Cricket Board, (ECB), did not consider a credible threat to their reasoning.

Personally, I think their statement was a bit vague. They stated that there were "increasing worries about traveling to the region" as well as "that going ahead will increase pressure on a playing group that has already had to deal with long periods of operating in restricted Covid environments."

Christian Turner, British High Commissioner to Pakistan has posted a tweet video stating that the British High Commission supported the tour and did not recommend against it for security reasons.

After a day, I thought I'd be able to relax and see things objectively. Or maybe England would view me differently. I don't.

England should have visited Pakistan, and it was selfish not to.

"England could have served as Pakistan's knight-in-shining armour"

England's women have never visited Pakistan, and they last met in a T20 at 2020's World Cup.

Let's begin with the men's team.

New Zealand pulled out of Pakistan at the last minute, leaving Pakistan as a lover.

Similar events occurred to England just two weeks ago, when the Indian team stopped the Old Trafford test at the eleventh hour.

The ECB should be able to understand how it feels better than anyone and should have responded in a more understanding and gracious manner.

They were offered the chance to be the knight-in-shining armour for Pakistan but chose not to accept it.

England stated that it believes that traveling under these conditions is not a good preparation for the T20 World Cup.

You're facing one of the top teams in the world and players like Shaheen Shah Afridi or Babar Azam, all the while you prepare for a T20 World Cup. This is not a good preparation.

"Pakistan needed you"

I am aware of the negative impact that touring can have on players' mental and physical health. I wouldn't minimize this serious issue. But what about the mental health for the Pakistani players who were almost three months without any contact with England?

When England needed them, the West Indies and Pakistan came to England’s aid.

They were kept in quarantine for three months in the most challenging of situations. After that, they played England and returned home.

It was so well-received by the ECB on social media, and they thanked Pakistan for it.

Even an emoji of fist bumps was available. You know what? Pakistan needs you now!

It would have been historic, especially with the first ever tour of Pakistani women by England.

Pakistan is home to a lot of women's cricket.

This series attracted more attention than the men's, because people understood what it meant. It was a powerful statement to have women from England and Pakistan playing.

How is this series not a good preparation for the Women's World Cup next season?

"My sympathies are for the Pakistani fans"

When Test cricket returned to Pakistan in 2019, fans tried their best to gain a better view of the game.

When Sri Lanka visited Pakistan in December 2019, I was there.

After the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team by gunmen, it was the first Test in the country in 10 years.

Two years ago, I had the honor of attending the Test at the Rawalpindi Stadium.

Fans found it difficult to gain entry due to security. But they managed and packed the house with love.

Being a British Pakistani fan, I have been blessed to be able to watch Pakistan play in England almost every year for the past six years. It could be the World Cup, Champions Trophy, or bilateral series.

My sympathies go out to the Pakistani fans who were eagerly awaiting these England stars.

It would have been a celebration as Pakistan rolled out the red carpet to tour teams.

I fear that their fans will be like "fine, we don’t want to play with you either" now.

You should have heard the stories of some of the people I was in the Twitter Spaces yesterday.

Everything was mentioned, from pure racism to colonialism to every other ism that you can think of.

How do we move forward?

What now?

It is not about boycotting future tours to England and New Zealand. That doesn't help anyone, and certainly does not help cricket.

They will be welcoming a West Indies touring team to Pakistan in December. They should concentrate their efforts there.

A domestic women's 50+ tournament is also taking place. Let's make sure that more people see it.

Let's focus our attention on the national T20 competition.

While we can look forward, I feel strongly that Pakistan has been wronged both by New Zealander and England.

They had been scheduled to play 15 T20s prior to the World Cup, but now they will only play four. Pakistan will be the team that is least prepared and isolated ahead of the tournament.

While the wounds will heal eventually, the insult will not go away.

Aatif Nawaz spoke to BBC Sport's Kal Sajad.