England will visit Pakistan for the first time in 16 years when they play two T20 Internationals in October 2021, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Wednesday (November 18).
The short tour will serve as a build-up to the Twenty20 World Cup in India which is scheduled to start the same month, and comes as international cricket returns to Pakistan following a deadly terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009 that killed six policemen and two civilians.
The matches are scheduled for October 14 and 15, both in Karachi.
“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,” ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said.
Pakistan have hosted Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for tests, and Zimbabwe for limited overs matches since December 2019, having used Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi as home venues since the bus attack.
England’s Moeen Ali said he was pleased by the news, and it was a “massive moment for cricket going forward”. Moeen, who is of mixed British and Pakistani heritage, was speaking from South Africa where England are currently on a white ball tour.
The all-rounder added that he hadn’t given up hopes of playing test cricket – he didn’t feature for England at all in 2020 in the longer format – and was delighted that it looks like fans will return to grounds next season in the UK.
(Production: Iain Axon)