- Information minister Fawad Chaudhry says PTV has suffered losses to the tune of millions, ministry will consult with lawyers
Following the withdrawal of England and New Zealand cricket teams from their scheduled tour to Pakistan, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has said that Pakistan Television (PTV), the state-run network, has suffered a huge financial loss to the tune of millions, and the ministry will consult with lawyers regarding initiating legal action.
In a tweet on Tuesday, the minister said that a certain international lobby is engaged against Pakistan. "But those who want to subdue us will never succeed. They should get rid of this misconception soon," he said.
His statement comes after both the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) announced the cancellation of their tour, leaving Pakistan ruing commercial and reputational losses.
Battling isolation and bidding to host regular international cricket on its soil, Pakistan said that it made all-out efforts in ensuring security for the visiting teams. Islamabad's reaction was both in frustration and anger as it says the decision taken by New Zealand was unilateral.
However, the New Zealand side has maintained that there was a "credible" security threat, and player safety was paramount.
On Friday, the day of the first One-Day International, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in a statement said that NZC informed the board that they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series.
NZC chief executive David White, in a statement issued on its website, said it was simply not possible to continue with the tour given the advice he was receiving. “I understand this will be a blow for the PCB, who have been wonderful hosts, but player safety is paramount and we believe this is the only responsible option.”
Three days later, on Monday, ECB too, announced that after an "extended conversation over the weekend" they decided against their upcoming tour to Pakistan.
"The ECB Board convened this weekend to discuss these extra England Women's and Men's games in Pakistan and we can confirm that the Board has reluctantly decided to withdraw both teams from the October trip.
"The mental and physical well-being of our players and support staff remains our highest priority and this is even more critical given the times we are currently living in.
"We know there are increasing concerns about travelling to the region and believe that going ahead will add further pressure to a playing group who have already coped with a long period of operating in restricted Covid environments."
Reacting to the announcement, PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja said he was disappointed with England.
“Disappointed with England, pulling out of their commitment and failing a member of their Cricket fraternity when it needed it most,” Ramiz wrote on Twitter.
He, however, said Pakistan cricket will survive through this and rise again.
Ramiz also called on national cricketers to become the best team in the world so that other teams "line up to play them without making excuses".
Earlier, Ramiz had also announced that he will take up the matter of New Zealand's withrawal with the International Cricket Council (ICC).
“Crazy day it has been! Feel so sorry for the fans and our players. Walking out of the tour by taking a unilateral approach to a security threat is very frustrating. Especially when it’s not shared!! Which world is NZ living in??NZ will hear us at ICC.”