England’s proposed winter tour of Pakistan will not happen, confirms England and Wales Cricket Board

England will not go on their proposed tour of Pakistan early next year, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed.

Scheduling and player availability issues have forced the ECB to delay plans for a return to the country for the first time since 2009.

The proposed dates would have clashed with England’s scheduled matches against Sri Lanka and India, and the ECB did not want to field a weakened squad.

Negotiations had taken place between the ECB and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over a potential tour in January.

The ECB is now considering a T20 tour to Pakistan later in the year, in either September or October, as preparation for the 2021 T20 World Cup – which will be hosted by India.

England have not toured Pakistan since 2005-06 due to security concerns following the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore.

International cricket has since returned to the country and English players have also played in the Pakistan Super League, the country’s franchise T20 tournament.

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Earlier this year, Wasim Akram urged England to agree to a reciprocal tour of Pakistan after Azhar Ali’s men travelled for a Test series amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“You boys owe Pakistan cricket, and the country, a lot, with the boys coming over here. They’ve been here almost two and half months in the bio-secure environment,” Akram told Sky Sports Cricket.

“So if everything goes well, England should tour Pakistan. I promise you they’ll get looked after on and off the field there and every game will be a packed house.

“The English players were there for the Pakistan Super League in our team, Karachi Kings – Alex Hales and Chris Jordan. They loved it, they enjoyed it, they got looked after beautifully, so the PSL is a step in the right direction.

“There is a lot more to see in Pakistan than cricket and players might be frustrated staying in the hotels all the time but hopefully next year we can let them go out to cinemas and shopping centres, while there is also a lot of history in Pakistan.”

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