Pakistan optimistic to tour England in July

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has agreed “in principle” to tour England in July after a detailed meeting through video link was held with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

According to the board’s chief executive, Wasim Khan, England is scheduled to host Pakistan for three Tests from July 30, followed by three Twenty20 internationals.

PCB had a very detailed and comprehensive discussion with the ECB regarding the tour and PCB has now agreed in principle to send the Pakistani cricket team to England in July.

A squad of 25 players will travel to England in a chartered flight, assured by the ECB, in the last week of July. “We will follow the guidelines of the government. There is still some time and we will monitor the situation over the weeks,” Khan said.

The team will fly together as separate travel arrangements could challenge the logistics. “We will be playing Tests and T20Is, so we have decided to have a bigger squad strength,” said Khan, adding that the matches will be played across two venues.

However, the PCB has decided to give the players an option to ‘opt out’ of the tour if they want. “We will definitely not force any players to travel to England. We understand that even the players and their families are worried about the whole situation. We will brief the players sometime next week and explain the entire situation,” Khan said.

The PCB will seek government’s guidelines for the proposed tour. “At this point of time, the players and all the stakeholders need to be given that confidence,” said Khan.

He said he will brief Test captain Azhar Ali and ODI and T20 captain Babar Azam on the tour next week, adding that all of the players will be briefed fully on England’s arrangements for the tour.

The PBC chief executive also said he is hopeful that both the English and Australian cricket teams will tour Pakistan in 2022.

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