England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that they received an invitation from Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for a “short white-ball tour” to the country for the men’s team in the early part of next year. In August this year, Pakistan toured England to play a three-match Test series and as many T20Is.

The ECB said in a statement that after discussions with the PCB, they could confirm the ECB had received an invitation in respect of a short white-ball tour to Pakistan for England Men during the early part of 2021. It added that they welcomed the fact that international cricket was returning to Pakistan and are committed to doing what they could to help this develop further.

If England visit Pakistan then it will be their first tour since 2005. England will become the fifth country to tour Pakistan after an attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore in 2009. Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, West Indies, and Bangladesh have all since made trips.

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The schedule for the tour is yet to be decided, keeping in mind the safety and security of the players. The statement further read that as with any proposed tour that takes place at this time, the safety and welfare of their players and staff were paramount. It said that as such, there were a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration, including the proposed protocols in relation to the 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.

It added that they would be liaising with the PCB, and as well as other partners, over the coming weeks to work through these considerations before a final decision was taken in due course.

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