Pakistan’s tour to the Netherlands has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic. The decision was taken in light of the Dutch government’s decision to ban all sports and cultural events in the country till September 1, with KNCB confirming the country will host no international cricket this summer.
Pakistan were due to visit Netherlands for a three-match ODI series before a full tour of England, with the games slated to be played in Amstelveen on 4,7 and 9 July. Netherlands were also due to host New Zealand for a one-off T20I on 15 June, but that has also been pushed back indefinitely. A quadrangular series with Namibia, Oman and the USA has also fallen victim to the pandemic.
,”It is sad that we have to postpone our July tour to the Netherlands, but in the prevailing circumstances, this is absolutely the right thing to do as human lives are far more precious and valuable than a cricket match or an event,” Wasim Khan, the PCB Chief Executive, said. “Netherlands has been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and we offer our heartfelt condolences to all those who have lost their lives. Like any other country, the PCB stands firmly with the KNCB and hope they will be able to overcome this crisis. The Pakistan national cricket teams have always enjoyed touring the Netherlands and as soon as things return to normal, the PCB will engage with the KNCB to reschedule the tour so that we can fulfil our obligation.”
KNCB chair Betty Timmer echoed Khan’s sentiments. “It is extremely disappointing that we won’t be able to host any international cricket in the Netherlands this summer,” she said. “However, the health and safety of the players, staff and fans is our main priority, and in that light the ban on events by the Dutch government is understandable. We truly hope that by next season the situation is under control again, so we can host the Super League series against England, Ireland and the West Indies as planned. We would love to welcome back all cricket fans on our grounds in the summer of 2021.”
The coronavirus pandemic has shut down all cricket across the world, along with nearly all sporting activities. England’s three-Test tour of Sri Lanka was among the first to be cancelled, with a slew of other series being called off as the virus began to take hold throughout the world. An ODI series between India and South Africa was pushed back indefinitely, and New Zealand’s ODI series in Australia was postponed part-way. While there has been guarded support from some players about the possibility of playing cricket behind closed doors when the time comes, it appears there is still plenty of time before even that becomes a realistic possibility.