The PCB and the ECB have confirmed that England, for the first time in 16 years, will tour Pakistan for a two-match T20I series in October 2021. The historic England tour comes on the back of Pakistan visiting England earlier this year in the midst of a pandemic to play Tests and T20Is.
In what will be a fifteen-year first, the English team, led by Eoin Morgan, will travel to Pakistan to play a two-match T20I series in October, 2021. The Three Lions last visited the shores of Pakistan way back in 2005, where they comprehensively lost both the ODIs and Tests and this time around will be playing just the two T20Is. The T20Is, as confirmed by the PCB, will be played in Karachi.
The announcement comes on the back of Pakistan helping out England not so long ago, playing a full-fledged series in England earlier this year, aiding the ECB in their quest to remain financially stable amidst the pandemic.
Commenting on the historic announcement, PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan claimed that he was delighted with the proceedings and also added that he expects the Australian team to tour Pakistan their FTP commitment in early 2022.
“I am delighted to confirm that England will be touring Pakistan to play two T20s in October 2021. This will be their first visit to Pakistan for 16 years and will open the door for both Test and White Ball tours in the 2022-23 season,” read a statement from Wasim Khan on the ECB Website.
“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.
“The October 2021 T20Is 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.”
Khan further added that this tour was rendered possible by the hardwork put in by the PCB and claimed that England accepting to tour is proof that Pakistan is now a ‘safe and secure’ country.
“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.
“England’s visit in 2021 is an outcome of the PCB’s efforts and hard work to ensure Pakistan cricket continues to move in the right direction.”
Meanwhile, ECB chief executive Tom Harrison also expressed his delight in England finally getting to tour Pakistan after an excruciating gap of 15 years. Harrison noted that the T20Is with Pakistan will serve as vital preparation for the World T20 that is expected to take place in India right after the series.
“It’s a real pleasure to announce that the England men’s IT20 squad will be playing in Pakistan in October 2021. This will be the first time since 2005 that an England team has toured Pakistan and as such it represents a significant moment for both nations,” Harrison said.
“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.
“As always, the safety and welfare of our players and staff will be paramount. We are working closely 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.
“The two-match series will serve as ideal preparation for the England team leading into an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup taking place in India during October and November 2021.”