The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday indefinitely postponed its national team’s July tour of the Netherlands after the Dutch government banned all events until September 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The team was scheduled to play three ODIs in Amstelveen on July 4, 7 and 9.
“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,” PCB chief executive officer Wasim Khan said in a press release.
The ban on mass gatherings will also affect the Dutch Formula One Grand Prix, due to the return to the calendar for the first time since 1985, and the MotoGP race at Assen scheduled for June 28.
“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 them and hope they will be able to overcome this crisis.
The pandemic, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province, has so far claimed 1.8 lakh lives while infecting over 25 million people across the world.
The Pakistan men’s team’s tours to Ireland, for two Twenty20 Internationals, and England, for three Tests and three Twenty20 Internationals, are on track at this stage, the PCB said.
Koninklijke Nederlandse Cricket Bond (KNCB) chairperson Betty Timmer said, “It is extremely disappointing that we won’t be able to host any international cricket in the Netherlands this summer.
“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.”