LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed on Wednesday that England will visit Pakistan for a short tour next year marking the first visit by an English team to the country since 2005.
A joint announcement by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the PCB confirmed the England men’s team will make their first visit to Pakistan in 16 years when they will play two Twenty20 internationals in Karachi on October 14 and 15 of next year.
According to schedule, the England team will arrive in Karachi on October 12, and both teams will depart for India on October 16 for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the end of the series.
The ECB confirmed the tour on Tuesday evening following last month’s invite by the PCB for a short tour in January 2021.
England last toured Pakistan in 2005 when they played three Tests and five ODIs. The series between the two sides in 2012 and 2015 were played in the United Arab Emirates.
Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer said that it is a real pleasure to announce that the England squad will be playing in Pakistan in October 2021, adding that it represented a significant moment for both nations.
“As was demonstrated this summer, we have a strong relationship with PCB, and ECB is delighted to be able to play our part in ensuring the safe return of international cricket to this wonderful nation of passionate cricket fans,” said Harrison.
“As always, the safety and welfare of our players and staff will be paramount. We are working closing with the PCB to ensure all the necessary plans are in place, especially concerning the anticipated levels of security around the team, the proposed travel protocols and of course the situation regarding the fast-moving and ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
On the other hand, PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan added that the series will open the door for both Test and white ball tours in the 2022-23 season.
“The full-strength England squad will arrive at the backend of our home white-ball series against New Zealand. We also expect Australia to visit Pakistan for their FTP commitment in early 2022, with England returning for both Test and White Ball tours in the 2022-23 season,” he said.
“The October 2021 games will allow the leading England cricketers to access and examine the world-class arrangements we will put together, which will give them further encouragement and confidence to not only return in 2022-23 but also express their interest in the Pakistan Super League, which has grown to become one of the top leagues in the world,” the PCB CEO said.
Wasim Khan added that the enhanced progress made over the last two years has been down to nurturing relationships with various cricket boards and international players, as well as building trust and confidence.
“The ECB’s confirmation further endorses Pakistan as safe and secure. Importantly, this announcement speaks volumes for the relationship that we have with the ECB and I would like to thank the ECB for their strong will and desire to make this short tour a reality,” Wasim said.