Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja said the ‘West needs to acknowledge the spirit of subcontinent and commitment to the game’ while hinting at England’s double standards in dealing with cricket in the COVID-19 affected world. Raja pointed out that the Pakistan team is continuing with their England tour despite seven members of the original England team, including three players, testing positive for COVID-19. England, on the other hand, had left a tour of South Africa mid-way last year after COVID-19 breached the home side bubble.
“England team suffer at the hands of COVID yet Pakistan team stays. South Africa had one player with symptoms of covid in Dec and England chose to leave quoting mental challenges. West needs to acknowledge the spirit of sub continent and commitment to the game… nahin??," he asked on Twitter.
England team suffer at the hands of COVID yet Pakistan team stays. South Africa had one player with symptoms of covid in Dec and England chose to leave quoting mental challenges. West needs to acknowledge the spirit of sub continent and commitment to the game… nahin??— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) July 7, 2021
Mpumelelo Mbangwa, the former Zimbabwe player turned commentator, replied, saying the African and West Indies sides too show the same commitment.
The West Indies too.— Mpumelelo Mbangwa (@mmbangwa) July 7, 2021
On Tuesday, COVID hit the England camp, forcing the ECB to announce a fresh squad for the ODI series against Pakistan. The new squad will be led by Ben Stokes and has nine uncapped players.
Despite the scre, the Pakistan Cricket Board said it is satisfied with the arrangements made by ECB.
“The PCB is satisfied by the assurances and guarantees provided by the ECB on behalf of its medical panel, and feels comfortable with the existing protocols that have been put in place to ensure all the Pakistan players and player support staff remain safe and secure throughout the duration of the series, which commences on Thursday, July 8, in Cardiff," the PCB said in its official statement.
“The PCB has also been in touch with its team management and has advised them to exercise extra caution while in the hotel or at the match venue," it added.
Earlier three England cricketers and four from the management staff have tested positive of Covid-19 putting the ODI series against Pakistan in jeopardy. All of them belonged to the squad which was set to take on Pakistan in the first ODI in 48 hours’ time.