Lahore and Karachi are likely to host seven T20Is between Pakistan and England from September 15 to October 2, PCB chairman Ramiz Raja has confirmed. ESPNcricinfo understands the ECB’s three-member security team is expected to arrive in Pakistan later this month to assess arrangements.
Though Pakistan have Multan and Rawalpindi as other venues to consider, Ramiz said that the schedule is “very tight and we can’t go elsewhere”. PCB is yet to announce the fixtures for the series, which will be the first instance of England touring Pakistan in 16 years. Following this series, Pakistan will depart for New Zealand on October 4 to participate in a T20I tri-series (also involving Bangladesh) in Christchurch from October 7 to 14. England, meanwhile, England will return to Pakistan following the 2022 T20 World Cup for a three-Test series in November as a part of the ICC World Test Championship.
The pitches have been relaid in Karachi and Lahore and are expected to be ready ahead of the series. The tour was originally scheduled to be played in Rawalpindi last October but England had called off their visit following New Zealand’s doing the same at the last minute over security issues.
England’s new white-ball captain Jos Buttler had said last week that he does not expect to have his best team available for the series due to fixture congestion. England’s red-ball players are unlikely to be available at the start of the limited-overs series in Pakistan, with England’s third Test against South Africa due to finish on September 12.
The upcoming series carries significance as England have not toured Pakistan since 2005 and two of Pakistan’s home series in 2012 and 2016 were forced to be played in UAE. After England decided to withdraw their men’s and women’s teams’ tours to Pakistan last year, Ramiz hit out at cricket’s “western bloc”. The ECB cited bubble fatigue and “increasing concerns about travelling to the region” to pull out of the series.