England women cricket team to make first-ever tour to Pakistan in October
It will be the team's first trip to the country, with the tour running alongside the England men's white-ball tour and featuring double-headers for both T20Is in Karachi on October 14 and 15. England Women will then stay in Karachi for their one-day fixtures on October 18, 20 and 22.
Clare Connor, the ECB's managing director of women's cricket, said she was "delighted" with the announcement.
"The England Women's cricket team has never toured Pakistan before so this is another important step in our history and journey," Connor said. "Not only will this be a cricket tour that provides valuable competitive opportunity to both teams, it should also serve as another powerful and positive message as we drive forward our equality ambitions for more women and girls to derive empowerment through the sport.
We have today confirmed that England Women will tour Pakistan in October 👇— England Cricket (@englandcricket) January 7, 2021
Wasim Khan, PCB chief executive, believed that, like their male counterparts, the England women's visit would pave the way for future tours. "World champions England accompanying their men's side for their first-ever tour to Karachi is an extremely powerful and strong announcement for Pakistan, our women's cricketers as well as for the global sport," he said,
"Women's T20Is taking place before the men's matches at the iconic National Stadium will mean more eyeballs will follow these matches than ever before... the three ODIs against the world champions will assist the Pakistan women's side to access, gauge and fine-tune their ICC Women's World Cup 2022 preparations as they aim to produce improved performances than in the past."
England's men's team will make their first visit to Pakistan in 16 years when they play the two T20Is in Karachi. This follows the shelving of plans for a short tour in January because of a crowded international and franchise calendar at this time of year. With Pakistan's men's team having travelled to England in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic, it was felt that the ECB owed Pakistan a reciprocal favour.
"This announcement reflects the confidence, trust and relationship the PCB enjoys with the England and Wales Cricket Board, and is an acknowledgement for the successful delivery of international and domestic cricket in the challenging and difficult 2020," Khan said on Thursday.
During the English summer, the women's team had visits from India and South Africa cancelled due to travel restrictions but were able to host West Indies for five T20Is late in the season. Fixtures for their upcoming tour to New Zealand will be announced later this month, with New Zealand and South Africa both due to tour in the 2021 summer.
14 October - 1st T20I
15 October - 2nd T20I
18 October - 1st ODI
20 October - 2nd ODI
22 October - 3rd ODI
All games at National Stadium, Karachi.