Pakistan’s wait to host England for the first time since 2005 continues, as the short T20I series scheduled for early next year is set to be postponed to October owing to the unavailability of top players and cost-related matters.
England were supposed to tour Pakistan around January-February to play 3 T20Is at the National Stadium in Karachi, and the series is now expected to be moved to October before the T20 World Cup in India.
A source in the know of the developments said that many top English cricketers would have other commitments around that time. The Three Lions are supposed to play both India and Sri Lanka early next year, with some of their players even plying their trade in the Big Bash League.
“The problem arising is that early next year England will be engaged in series with Sri Lanka and India and some of their T20 specialist players are also signed up for the Big Bash in Australia,” the source stated.
He added that it won’t be economically feasible for the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) to fly down to Karachi just to play the 3 T20Is. Instead, it would be ideal for them to take a halt before flying out to India for the T20 World Cup.
“As it is just a 3-match series with Karachi the likely venue, the costs of flying the English team by a chartered flight after holding a training camp in Dubai does not make it cost effective for the England board,” he reasoned.
‘Even the PCB didn’t want a ‘C’ team from England playing,’ says source
The tour was supposed to be a ground-breaking one for the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board), especially because England haven’t toured the country in 15 years. That said, even the Pakistan governing body didn’t want a second-string side to visit the subcontinent.
“Even the PCB didn’t want a ‘C’ team from England playing early next year as it is a big series and a breakthrough for Pakistan cricket,” the source concluded.
Pakistan visited England in August-September this year to play 3 Tests and as many T20Is. While they lost the Test series 0-1, they finished level 1-1 in the shortest format. The Babar Azam-led side is now slated to host South Africa early next year for 2 Tests and 3 T20Is.
Published 17 Nov 2020, 11:53 IST