Michael Atherton has once again criticised the ECB and its chairman, Ian Watmore, for failing to offer a credible reason for why the tour to Pakistan was canceled.
Former England cricketer claimed in an editorial published in The Times that his press conference lacked answers.
Atherton wrote, “It was more of an obfuscation than an apology, and raised more questions than answers.”
“Team England Player Participation (TEPP) held a number of meetings with the ECB over the tour and how Watmore can say the board made a decision based on the players’ mental health without wider consultation is a mystery.” Atherton further mentioned.
In an interview with the Times, PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja stated that Ian Watmore’s comments have also left him perplexed.
“It is still a very confusing statement. Security was not discussed as a road block amongst us. Further, Christian Turner [the British high commissioner to Pakistan] nailed that argument by staying with an unchanged travel advisory for UK. And we know now that player welfare and security was not discussed with the team and, in fact, assumed as being compromised on the pretext of New Zealand withdrawing from the tour,” mentioned by Ramiz.
The press conference took an unusual turn when Ian Watmore made a political statement and stated that “I didn’t know he was going to evacuate Afghanistan.” This sparked a humorous response from Atherton, who stated that Watmore must have been “living under a rock,” because America has already committed to withdrawing all of its soldiers from Afghanistan by 2020.
According to Atherton, Ian Watmore is also due to get a call up from Yasmin Qureshi, the MP for Bolton South East, seeking explanations.
All of this criticism came after the ECB Chairman’s statement regarding the tour cancellation of the England Cricket Team of Pakistan.