LAHORE: Karachi and Lahore will host Pakistan’s seven-match Twenty20 International series against England, who are set to tour the country after 17 years in September, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced Tuesday.

The current world champions will play four Twenty20 Internationals at the National Stadium in Karachi and the remaining three at the Gaddafi Stadium here from Sept. 20 to Oct. 2, and then return for three Test matches in December.

England were scheduled to visit Pakistan in October last year, but they pulled out citing players’ well-being issues days after New Zealand called of their respective visit to the country due “security alerts”.

Both tours were rescheduled not long after the PCB criticised England and New Zealand’s pull-out, with chairman Ramiz Raja claiming a “western bloc” was behind the move.

New Zealand will play two Tests in Pakistan and a total of 13 white-ball games in December-January and April next year respectively.

The success of Australia’s first visit to Pakistan in 24 years in March also played a key role in assuring the England and Wales Cricket Board and New Zealand Cricket.

“We demonstrated our event planning and operational skills in the highly-successful series against Australia in March/April and I am confident we will be able to replicate

these when England visit us for the first time since 2005,” PCB’s director international Zakir Khan said in a statement.

An ECB security delegation conducted an assessment of venues and potential team accommodations in Multan, Karachi and Lahore in its visit last month after which the tour schedule was decided.

“We have been able to confirm schedule of the T20Is following a successful tour by the England and Wales Cricket Board recce team, which was pleased and satisfied with all our arrangements,” said Zakir.

ECB’s managing director Rob Key said the board had been “liaising closely” with the PCB over the arrangements for both the T20 and Test tours “will continue to work closely with the PCB, British High Commission and other relevant authorities” to prepare for them.

“We would like to thank the PCB and the city authorities for all their ongoing assistance with planning for the tours, including hosting the recent pre-tour planning visit by ECB representatives and the PCA CEO,” Key added.

Complete schedule of England Test series as well as New Zealand and the West Indies series — which is set to be played in January next year — will be announced in due course, said a PCB statement.

Schedule:

Sept. 20: First T20I, Karachi

Sept. 22: Second T20I, Karachi

Sept. 23: Third T20I, Karachi

Sept. 25: Fourth T20I, Karachi

Sept. 28: Fifth T20I, Lahore

Sept. 30: Sixth T20I, Lahore

Oct. 2: Seventh T20I, Lahore

Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2022

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