England are set to tour Pakistan for the first time since 2005 for a short two-match T20 International (T20I) series, which will be played in Karachi on October 14 and 15. England will arrive in the country on October 12 and depart for India four days later, where they will participate in the T20 World Cup. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) received an invite from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday (November 17) for a tour in January 2021. However, the ECB found it impossible to accommodate that as many of their players would be busy with T20 leagues and also the England Test team will be playing a Test series in Sri Lanka around that time.
England last toured Pakistan 15 years ago, where they played three Tests and five ODIs. After a terrorist attack on cricketers rocked the world in 2009, Pakistan’s ‘home series’ against England were played in the UAE in 2012 and 2015.
Normalcy is slowly creeping into Pakistan with Sri Lanka playing a Test series recently, Zimbabwe too played a limited-overs series and the country was also able to host all the fixtures of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) for the first time.
Wasim Khan, PCB Chief Executive, said: "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.
"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."
Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer said: “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.
“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.
“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.”