Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja was a dejected man as England on Monday (September 20) cancelled their next month’s white-ball tour to Pakistan.
ECB’s decision to pull out of the tour came just three days after New Zealand abandoned the limited-overs series in Pakistan moments before the first ODI, citing a security alert from their government.
Amid the development, Ramiz said England and New Zealand's call to not play in Pakistan is a lesson for them and they will now just look after their own interest.
"I am severely disappointed in England's withdrawal but it was expected because this western bloc gets united unfortunately and tries to back each other. So you can take any decision on the basis of security threat and perception. There was a sense of anger because first New Zealand got away without sharing information about the threat they were facing," the newly-appointed chairman said in a video posted by PCB on Twitter.
"Now, this England was expected but this is a lesson for us because we go out of our way to accommodate and pamper these sides when they visit. And when we go there, we undergo strict quarantines and we tolerate their admonishments, but there is a lesson in this. That is, that from now on we will only go as far as is in our interest," he added.
Pakistan is due to host West Indies in December this year followed by Australia in February 2022 and Ramiz Raja is concerned about both the tours.
"Our interest is that cricket will not stop in our country and if the cricket fraternity will not take care of each other then there's no point to it. New Zealand, then England, now we have a West Indies series that can also be hit, and Australia who is already reconsidering. This - England, Australia, New Zealand - is all one block. Who can we complain to? We thought they were our own but they haven't accepted us as theirs," he added.
"We have to improve and expand our cricket economy so that these countries remain interested in playing us. That is in our interests as well so that our players are paid better and we are respected more. They come to the PSL where they don't get spooked or fatigued but collectively they have a different mindset together toward Pakistan," he further remarked.
In the upcoming T20 World Cup, Pakistan is slotted in Group 2 alongside New Zealand, India, Afghanistan and two qualifier teams.
Ramiz urged the Pakistan cricket team to not only defeat India in the global event but also keep New Zealand and England as their main targets.
"We go in the World Cup now and where we had one team in our target - our neighbours India, they now add two more teams - New Zealand and England. So pick up the strength and develop a mindset that we are not going to lose because you didn't do right by us with us and we will avenge that in the ground," he said.