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Will consult lawyers on legal action against NZC, ECB for tour cancellations: Fawad

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday said that the government will consult lawyers regarding legal action that can be taken against the New Zealand and England cricket boards for cancelling their scheduled tours to Pakistan.

Taking to Twitter, the information minister said the cancellations by the two boards — New Zealand Cricket and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) — had cost Pakistan Television tremendous financial loss.

“[We] will consult lawyers about legal action against the two boards, A specific foreign lobby is busy [in activities] against Pakistan but those wishing to make us bend will never be successful.

“This misunderstanding should quickly be rid of,” Chaudhry said.

The information minister’s comments come a day after the ECB announced that it was withdrawing both its men’s and women’s teams from their Pakistan tour scheduled for next month.

“We know there are increasing concerns about travelling to the region,” it had said while referring to Pakistan, adding that going ahead with the tour would “add further pressure to a playing group who have already coped with a long period of operating in restricted Covid environments”.

The ECB’s decision had come three days after New Zealand abandoned their tour of Pakistan citing a “security threat” minutes before the first One Day International match was scheduled to start at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Friday — a move that shocked Pakistani fans and officials.

On Sunday, Pakistan Cricket Board chief executive Wasim Khan revealed that he had been informed that the New Zealand tour was abandoned after the New Zealand government received an alert from the “Five Eyes” intelligence group about a “direct and imminent” threat to its team in Pakistan.

The Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The tour cancellations were met with wide criticism and anger from various quarters of Pakistan with journalists, politicians, sportsmen, commentators and more expressing their dismay over the situation.

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