England to play seven T20s on first Pakistan tour in 17 years

KARACHI: England will play seven Twenty20 internationals against Pakistan on their first visit to the country in 17 years, the Pakistan Cricket Board said on Tuesday.

England will arrive in mid-September and play four T20s in Karachi, with the other three matches in Lahore, and then return in December for three Tests.

England’s last tour to the country was in 2005 before Pakistan were forced to play international matches at neutral venues in the UAE following a 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.

International cricket gradually returned to Pakistan in 2015 but suffered another setback when New Zealand pulled out of a tour minutes before a one-day international in September last year, citing security alerts.

A week later, England withdrew its men’s and women’s teams from tours to Pakistan.

Both tours were rescheduled after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) gave assurances over security. Pakistan successfully hosted Australia for the first time since 1998 earlier this year.

“We demonstrated our event planning and operational skills in the highly successful series against Australia in March-April this year and I am confident we will be able to replicate these when England visit us,” said PCB director of international cricket, Zakir Khan.

Schedule of T20Is:

Tuesday, Sept 20 – 1st T20I, Karachi

Thursday, Sept 22 – 2nd T20I, Karachi

Friday, Sept 23 – 3rd T20I, Karachi

Sunday, Sept 25 – 4th T20I, Karachi

Wednesday, Sept 28 – 5th T20I, Lahore

Friday, Sept 30 – 6th T20I, Lahore

Sunday, Oct 2 – 7th T20I, Lahore