England to play two additional T20Is during 2022 Pakistan tour

Published November 9, 2021
England's captain Eoin Morgan, right, and teammates await third umpire's decision for the wicket of Sri Lanka's Dushmantha Chameera during the third ODI between England and Sri Lanka, at Bristol County Ground in Bristol, England. — AP/File
England's captain Eoin Morgan, right, and teammates await third umpire's decision for the wicket of Sri Lanka's Dushmantha Chameera during the third ODI between England and Sri Lanka, at Bristol County Ground in Bristol, England. — AP/File

The England cricket team will play two additional men's Twenty20 Internationals when they tour Pakistan next year in September and October, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chief Executive Tom Harrison announced on Tuesday.

According to a press release issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the announcement was made after the England cricket chief met with his Pakistani counterpart, Ramiz Raja, in Lahore. The ECB had originally planned to play five T20Is during next year's tour of Pakistan.

The England team will return to Pakistan in November-December after the Men's T20 World Cup in Australia to play three Test matches, which will form a part of the ICC World Test Championship, the statement said.

“Myself and ECB’s Senior Director Martin Darlow visited Lahore to talk face-to-face with the PCB around some of the things that have happened over the past few weeks, leading to the cancellation of our tour in October," Harrison was quoted as saying by the PCB.

"We also wanted to discuss the future as the two boards have a historic relationship and want to move the agenda towards a forward-looking one as opposed to one looking back," he said.

“This is just to reaffirm our commitment to Pakistan cricket to getting England teams, men’s and women’s teams, eventually playing in Pakistan at home.

“I don’t think there’s a cricketer in England who doesn’t want to test their abilities against the huge talent this country has and in the conditions they know best," the ECB chief executive added.

Commenting on the development, Raja said the ECB had shown "large-heartedness" for which he was thankful. "It means a lot to us."

The PCB chairman said that Pakistan was "excited" that England had committed to playing two additional T20Is. "We put in a lot of effort to make sure that all visiting teams are comfortable in Pakistan. As such, it is a matter of pride for Pakistan fans, who look forward to welcoming Australia and England in 2022," he said,

“England have got a great team and it’s mind-boggling how they’ve produced so many match-winners in a span of about five to seven years. They play very engaging and attractive cricket, which is fantastic for the fans and a big advertisement of the game," he added.

The development comes a day after Australia announced that they would tour Pakistan in March and April next year — the country's first visit since 1998 — to play a series of Test, ODI and T20 matches.

The ECB had cited “increasing concerns about travelling to the region” in cancelling its tour in October, just days after New Zealand also pulled out of a tour to Pakistan over security concerns.

However, British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner had said that the commission had supported the tour, adding that the decision was taken by the ECB over "concerns of player welfare".

The first trip by the England men's side to Pakistan since 2005 was only meant to last four days, with two Twenty20 matches in Rawalpindi on October 13 and 14.

Two women's T20 matches were scheduled on the same days as double-headers, with three women's One-Day Internationals to follow in the same city.

Pakistan travelled to England last year at a time when Covid-19 infection rates in Britain were among the highest in the world for a three-match Test series and T20 series that saved the ECB millions in television rights deals.

Consequently, there was a bitter reaction in Pakistan when England called off the October fixtures.

Read: 'No more a gentleman's game': Pakistanis heartbroken, angry as England cancel tour after NZ

“It's the feeling of being used and then binned,” Raja told reporters in September. “One feels slighted, one feels humiliated because withdrawal doesn't have an answer.”

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