Pakistan tour to England gets green signal
Pakistan are ready to tour England this summer after positive talks were held on Friday over biosecurity arrangements for their Test and Twenty20 series, reported the Telegraph.
Further discussions will be held between the England & Wales Cricket Board and the Pakistan Cricket Board before a final decision is made, but England’s summer is starting to take shape after weeks of detailed work on arrangements to play behind closed doors.
Pakistan are likely to bring over 25 players at the same time to cover both red- and white-ball cricket, and to play inter-squad matches instead of the usual practice of one-day specialists joining a tour later on. Pakistan are likely to bring over 25 players at the same time to cover both red- and white-ball cricket, and to play inter-squad matches instead of the usual practice of one-day specialists joining a tour later on.
The players will be tested on arrival in England and face regular checks to stay on top of any potential Covid-19 outbreak. Pakistan will arrive in early July, probably on a charter flight provided by the ECB to avoid the risk of picking up infection on a commercial airliner.
There will be regular temperature checks and testing sites at grounds during games. The team will be treated as a ‘family unit’ with nobody entering or leaving their bubble at grounds or hotels.
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“We had a very thorough briefing and were pleased with what we were told,” said Wasim Khan, the PCB chief executive. “A lot of time and energy has gone into the plans. The attention to detail was impressive and we are satisfied that safety will be the number one priority at all times. We stand in solidarity with the ECB. The cricket family needs to be united to make sure cricket starts moving in the right direction again. It is a very critical time for the game and we have been massively reassured by the plans put in place by the ECB.”
Misbah-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain, who is now the team’s head coach and chief selector, and England coach Chris Silverwood were on Friday’s conference call, but the main discussions were led by the two boards’ medical staff. Misbah was assured the team will be housed at a ground with a hotel attached so they can acclimatise in the weeks before the first Test.
Pakistan are due to play three Tests from Aug 5 and three T20 internationals before going home in early September. Venues have not been finalised but Emirates Old Trafford and the Ageas Bowl are likely to host the Tests, with Edgbaston possibly on standby too.