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Test Cricket - Abandoned Tours



Reasons for abandoning the tour

West Indies to England 1939


Outbreak of War

As War loomed, the last seven matches of the tour in England were hastily cancelled and the tour party hurried off to catch the first available ship home across the Atlantic Ocean.   More than 800 people joined the 'Montrose' at Liverpool and 400 more, including the West Indian cricketers, at Greenock in Scotland.  When two days out to sea, the Admiralty called the ship back to port but, after six hours of delay, she was allowed to sail again.


England (MCC) to Pakistan 1968-69


Political upheaval and rioting by students


The East Pakistan section of the tour was cancelled on 30 January because a state of emergency existed in Dacca but then restored. The Pakistan Board (B.C.C.P) was desperate for M.C.C. not to abandon the tour and persuaded manager Les Ames to keep the tour going until the third morning of the final Test at Karachi. Things got completely out-of-hand when rioters stormed into the ground. Fortunately, the team was able to get on the first flight out of Karachi.


India to Pakistan 1984-85



Assassination of Indira Gandhi

Following Mrs Gandhi's assassination the one-day international at Sialkot was halted. The Indian Board decided the team would be brought home immediately to conform with the government call for thirteen days of national mourning, and the last three matches were cancelled.


New Zealand to Sri Lanka  1986-87


Explosion in the capital city Colombo killed 100 people

Sri Lankan officials had persuaded the NZ Cricket Council that it was safe to tour. However, during the first Test match a massive explosion in the capital city Colombo killed 100 people. Gamini Dissanayeke, as President of the Sri Lanka Board, asked the team to continue the tour with additional security but left it to the team to decide. In the end no-one could guarantee security in Colombo and the NZ Cricket Council accepted the unanimous wishes of the team to abandon the tour.


New Zealand to Pakistan 2002


Explosion outside team hotel

As the teams were about to leave their hotels for the second Test match a bomb blast killed 15 people outside their Karachi hotel. The bomber’s target was a navy bus carrying French defence technicians helping build two submarines at the dockyard. None of the tour party was seriously hurt although NZ physiotherapist Dayle Shackel received a cut to his forearm from flying glass.

The New Zealanders felt that the Pakistan Government and the Cricket Board had done everything reasonably possible to protect their players during the tour, and none of the cricketers was injured, but it was the last time New Zealand toured Pakistan. Cancelling the remainder of the tour cause significant financial hardship for the Pakistan Board which has already lost nearly £7m  in potential revenue since September 11.


Sri Lanka to New Zealand 2004-05


Asian tsunami

The Sri Lankans had barely begun the limited-overs section of their tour of New Zealand when the tsunami struck, destroying vast swathes of Sri Lanka's coastline. At first the tour was only suspended for five days of national mourning but the players all wanted to return home and a decision was soon made to abandon the tour.

The New Zealanders were able to reschedule the Sri Lankan Tests for the autumn.


South Africa to Sri Lanka 2006


Bomb blast

A two-Test series was completed but South Africa pulled out of the one-day tri-series that was to follow the Test maches, citing security concerns after a bomb blast near the team hotel. An independent security analyst described the risk to the players as being at an unacceptable level and the Sri Lankan Government were unable to guarantee physical security, so the team was consequently withdrawn.


Sri Lanka to Pakistan 2008-09


Terrorists opened fire on the team bus in Lahore

Masked men opened fire as the Sri Lankan team bus approached Lahore’s cricket stadium for the second Test match.  Five players and the assistant coach were injured, Samaraweera and Mendis badly so.  The second Test was immediately called off following the attack and the tourists returned home as soon as possible. This put an end to any further international cricket in Pakistan.


West Indies to Sri Lanka 2010-11



The one-day series was abandoned because of persistently wet weather conditions. The two cricket boards and their television partners agreed on 9 December 2010  that the remainder of the tour should be postponed to late January 2011.


West Indies to India 2014-15


Players’ strike

The West Indian team abandoned the tour, leaving a three-Test match series unplayed, the first time that any tour had been abandoned because of players withdrawing, though things had come close on previous tours because of controversial umpiring (as on the Windies’ tour of New Zealand in 1980).

The 2014 team was in dispute with its own Players’ Association, and with WIPA chief executive Wavell Hinds in particular, for putting forward a contract that cut the Test players’ share of sponsorship fees which was somehow agreed without the players approving it.

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