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England confirm finer details of first tour of Pakistan in 17 years

Jos Buttler will lead England’s white-ball squad in their first tour of Pakistan since 2005 (Nick Potts/PA)
Jos Buttler will lead England’s white-ball squad in their first tour of Pakistan since 2005 (Nick Potts/PA)

England have revealed the finer details of their first tour of Pakistan in 17 years with seven Twenty20 matches to be played between September 20 and October 2.

Jos Buttler will take a white-ball squad out to the country for a short series, which will act as crucial preparation ahead of this winter’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

Ben Stokes and England’s Test side will then return to Pakistan in December, but the schedule for the red-ball matches is still a work in progress.

This tour represents England going back to the cricket-mad country for the first time since 2005, with security concerns preventing the ECB sending any squads to Pakistan in the ensuing years following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore back in 2009.

After Pakistan helped England get cricket back on in this country two summers ago following the coronavirus pandemic bringing the world to a halt months earlier, plans for a return to the South Asian country were put in place.

A joint men’s and women’s tour was proposed last winter but was cancelled amid New Zealand ending their own tour of Pakistan due to security concerns but Rob Key is pleased England will head back there next month.

He said: “We are looking forward to returning to Pakistan and playing these seven T20Is as the team builds up to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

“We have been liaising closely with the PCB over arrangements for this visit and the Tests later in the year, and will continue to work closely with the PCB, British High Commission and other relevant authorities as we continue to prepare for these tours.

“We would like to thank the PCB and the city authorities for all their ongoing assistance with planning for the tours, including hosting the recent pre-tour planning visit by ECB representatives and the PCA CEO.”

Zakir Khan, PCB director of international cricket, added: “We are absolutely delighted to confirm hosting England for seven T20Is in Karachi and Lahore as a curtain-raiser to a busy, entertaining and exciting season of home internationals.

“England is one of the top-ranked T20I teams and them playing the shortest format in the lead-up to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Pakistan will not only help the team management to finalise their preparations, but will also set the tone for December’s three-Test series.

“We demonstrated our event planning and operational skills in the highly-successful series against Australia in March/April and I am confident we will be able to replicate these when England visit us for the first time since 2005. We have been able to confirm the schedule of the T20Is following a successful tour by the England and Wales Cricket Board recce team, which was pleased and satisfied with all our arrangements.

“I am confident that the cricket fans, like they did in the series against Australia, will turn up in big numbers to support both the sides and also make our Diamond Jubilee celebration year an unforgettable one.”