England will have to wait a little while longer for their first tour of Pakistan since 2005/06 as the ECB have confirmed that a proposed white-ball trip there will not go ahead early next year.
Last month it was announced that an invitation to the England team from the PCB for a short white-ball tour in early 2021 was being considered – with reports indicating that it would have included just a three-match T20 series.
Sky Sports have reported today, however, that the ECB has confirmed that the proposed tour will not go ahead.
It is understood the decision was made as it would have clashed with England’s matches against India and Sri Lanka, meaning they would have been forced to field a weakened side.
A series in Pakistan in the build-up to next year’s T20 World Cup, which takes place in India in October and November, is now being considered.
That trip would see Eoin Morgan’s side travel to Pakistan for a T20 series in either September or October, in what would be England’s first visit to the country since 2005/06.
Michael Vaughan led England during that tour and due to security concerns following the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka bus in Lahore, no Three Lions side has been back since with Pakistan forced to play all their cricket away from home for a long period.
In recent years, the Pakistan Super League and international cricket have brought the sport back to the country and it seems that at some point soon England will be heading back to end their nearly 15-year absence.
As exciting as the T20 series early next year would have been, the delay means that there is a better chance that fans will be able to travel in support of the side when they do finally return to Pakistan.
Test captain Joe Root threw his support behind the idea of touring the country earlier this year and it now only seems a matter of time.