5 Unexpected reasons which caused the cancellation of International cricket tours

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Over the years, Cricket has glimpsed numerous turmoils on the field and off the field and that results in devastation to the sport.

There are some unexpected instances where involving teams went as far as cancelling or abrupting the tours and the spurs have been weather issues, political involvement, Wars between countries, security questions, and financial problems.

In that case, on most of the occasions, the International tours brought into exasperating situations determined accordingly and suspended to a safer eternity but some faced the desertion.

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On that note, here are some of the unexpected instances which caused the cancellation of International Cricket tours:

Threat of terrorism

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As the world was taking in the iniquity of the terrorist attack that demolished the World Trade Centre in New York on 11 September 2001, a New Zealand team was already on its way to Pakistan tour.

The New Zealand Cricket Board halted its team from flying beyond Singapore until it could evaluate the risks of touring Pakistan. One of particular concern was playing at Peshawar, venue for the first Test match, in the North-west Frontier Province which was contiguous to Afghanistan, now identified as Al Qaeda’s center of operations.

Chief Executive Martin Snedden said the tour was ‘temporarily postponed’ and the team would go to Pakistan when the international situation eased but on 27 September, under advice from New Zealand’s Department of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand Cricket finally canceled the tour.

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South Africa’s batsman Rassie van der Dussen hits a 6 during their ODI cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan (AP Photo/Nasief Manie)

In recent decades, a lot of tours suffered adjustments to manage the workload of the players which accommodates them to play the T20 leagues around the World.

However, a T20I tour was completely canceled owing to the workload issue back in 2020 itself. South Africa was set to tour Pakistan in 2020 for playing three T20I’s in March.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had intended to make the South African team stay in Dubai – with the PSL ends on March 22 – and then fly them directly to Pakistan for the three T20Is in Rawalpindi.

However, as reported, South Africa has decided to withdraw from touring Pakistan for three T20Is in March, citing ‘players workload’ as the reason.

The tour was scheduled to happen following the India tour next month. The planned tour will be rescheduled after the two boards find a new window.

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India – Pakistan War

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The government of Pakistan had also been unable to authorize foreign exchange for a tour by West Indies and that part of the visit had been cancelled on 31 August.

When the new Indian eight-week tour was rejected, West Indies’ Board then wished to re-arrange a tour limited to Pakistan in 1965-66; but only two days later on 4 October it, too, had to be called off because of the India-Pakistan War.

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Indian Premier League

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Twin relations between two nations or cricket boards has resulted in the cancellation of several tours. One of those was Zimbabwe’s tour of England in 2009 due to England’s stand against violence in Zimbabwe. England sought to replace it with a 3-match ODI series and 2-match Test series against Sri Lanka.

However, the newly opened Indian Premier League (IPL) came as a barrier to this tour. The main players of the Sri Lankan team would be part of the IPL during the time the two Test matches in the introduced tour by the ECB.

As at the end of the inaugural edition, a total of 12 Sri Lankans held agreements with IPL teams comprising the likes of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan who were determined to be part of that tour.

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Death of Prime Minister

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India’s tour of Pakistan in 1984 began with the first game of the 3-match ODI series in Quetta. That game was won by Pakistan as they bowled out the visitors to 153 after placing 199 in the limited 40 overs.

Later, the two teams clashed off in the first two matches of the 3-match Test series; both ending in a draw. India was shoved to follow-on in the Lahore Test where they batted out the last two days to save the game.

Ahead of the series decider in Karachi, India put on a solid total of 210/3 in the limited 40 overs after they were put in to bat.

On the very day (October 31, 1984) the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi was shot by her bodyguards in the morning and was declared dead around 2:20 PM IST and news reached Sialkot by innings break and the officials decided to cancel the tour comprising Pakistan’s chase in the 2nd ODI.

India reimbursed home departing the tour incomplete with a Test. The tour getting cancelled was quite unusual as the death of a high profile person during a cricket match was quite rare.

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