England considering white-ball tour to Pakistan in 2021

England have not travelled to Pakistan since 2005 but have been offered the chance to play white-ball games – reportedly three Twenty20 fixtures – in January.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) agreed to play fixtures on English soil earlier this year amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the two nations facing each other in a three-Test series followed by a trio of T20 contests while staying in bio-secure bubbles.

England’s schedule for the coming months is still unclear due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, with tours to Sri Lanka and India yet to be confirmed.

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Security concerns following the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore put a stop to teams visiting Pakistan, though international cricket has slowly begun to return to the country.

“We welcome the fact that international cricket is returning to Pakistan and are committed to doing what we can to help this develop further,” a statement from the ECB read.

“As with any proposed tour that takes place at this time, the safety and welfare of our players and staff is paramount.

“As such, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration, including the proposed protocols in relation to COVID-19 bio-secure bubbles, the proposed levels of security around the team, as well as the feasibility of undertaking this tour against the backdrop of an already busy schedule of international cricket for the England men’s team.

“We will be liaising with the PCB, as well as other partners, over the coming weeks to work through these considerations, before a final decision will be taken in due course.”

Currently some of the England cricketers including World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan are featuring in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE.

None of the Pakistan players are involved in IPL though.

(With Omnisport inputs)

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