England considering invitation to tour Pakistan in early 2021

Ruben Hill
October 16, 2020

England could make a long-awaited return to Pakistan this winter, with talks between the European Central Bank and PCB well underway over a short T20 series in January 2021.

England are considering an offer to play a three match Twenty20 series in Pakistan in early 2021 which would be their first trip to the country since 2005.

Professional cricket in Pakistan was halted after the Lahore terrorist attack in 2009, with much of the men and women's matches taking place in the United Arab Emirates. Going by speculations in the media, there are chances of the ECB (England Cricket Board) sending two teams for different formats in the months to come.

"We welcome the fact that worldwide cricket is returning to Pakistan and are committed to doing what we can to help this develop further", added the European Central Bank statement.

While they are expected to tour Sri Lanka for a Test series which was originally scheduled to be played in March this year, the all-format tour of India might take place in the UAE due to the number of COVID-19 cases in India.

"They (the ECB) will consider it (the invitation) and have a security assessment".

It is understood the proposed tour could consist of three T20 internationals, none of which would replace England's rescheduled tour of Sri Lanka.

England are due to tour Pakistan in 2022 under the future tours programme but this Twenty20 series would be seen as a goodwill gesture given Pakistan helped save English cricket from financial ruin by travelling to this country in the summer.

Two of global cricket's financially poorer leading sides helped spare one of the wealthiest in England an estimated £280 million ($366 million) loss if all the ECB's scheduled matches were wiped out by Covid-19.

That prompted Pakistan great Wasim Akram to say in August: "You (England) boys owe Pakistan cricket, and the country, a lot, with the boys coming over here".

Sri Lanka, West Indies and a World XI all played T20s before Sri Lanka undertook a full tour in 2019.

England are also scheduled to play South Africa from Nov 17 in six white ball games but that tour is also far from certain.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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