After a long gap of 16 years, England Cricket Team is all set to play two Twenty20 internationals in Karachi, Pakistan on 14 and 15 October 2021.
The British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner, who has played a key role in making the circumstances suitable for his team’s tour to the cricket-starved Pakistan, tweeted earlier today confirming the cricket series between England and Pakistan.
Mr Turner said “Amazing news for Cricket bat and ball fans from
England and Pakistan – Flag of England is coming to Flag of Pakistan in 2021!”
The British diplomat stationed in Islamabad also shared an almost 1-minute long video with his social media post underlining his efforts to bring England Cricket Team back to Pakistan.
In the brief video, Mr Turner says: “My goal since arriving in Pakistan as the British High Commissioner has been to welcome the England Cricket Team back to Pakistan.”
— Christian Turner (@CTurnerFCDO) November 18, 2020
The British diplomat can also be heard speaking in Urdu “Cricket humare khoon main hai” which translates to “Cricket is in our blood”.
Being a staunch advocate for the England Cricket Team’s tour to Pakistan, the ambassador appeared has previously appeared in multiple Television programs including Senior Journalists Hamid Mir and Arshad Sharif’s respective shows.
The High Commissioner for England says: “16 years of wait is finally over and I am delighted that England will play here in 2021”.
England will arrive in Karachi on 12 October, and both teams will depart for India on 16 October for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the end of the series.
“A lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to make today’s news possible and I would like to thank everybody involved including the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) and the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board),” Mr Turner added.
While applauding Pakistan for its well-maintained and international standard cricket stadiums, the British diplomat said: “International cricket needs the great stadiums of Pakistan full again and this tour will do that.”
Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer said: “It’s a real pleasure to announce that the England men’s IT20 squad will be playing in Pakistan in October 2021. This will be the first time since 2005 that an England team has toured Pakistan and as such it represents a significant moment for both nations.
“As was demonstrated this summer, we have a strong relationship with PCB and ECB is delighted to be able to play our part in ensuring the safe return of international cricket to this wonderful nation of passionate cricket fans.
“As always, the safety and welfare of our players and staff will be paramount. We are working closely with the PCB to ensure all the necessary plans are in place, especially concerning the anticipated levels of security around the team, the proposed travel protocols and of course the situation regarding the fast-moving and ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The two-match series will serve as ideal preparation for the England team leading into an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup taking place in India during October and November 2021.”
Reacting to the news, Senator Faisal Javed Khan, who is a prominent leader of the ruling PTI said: “Great News! International cricket is back in Pakistan in full swing. Thank you Christian Turner for your significant role as Pakistan will host England in 2021 after the gap of 15 years.”
Great News!!! International cricket is back in Pakistan in full swing. Thank you @CTurnerFCDO for your significant role as Pakistan will host England in 2021 after the gap of 15 years. #UkPakDosti #CricketIsBack https://t.co/V8jXeIfFMM
— Faisal Javed Khan (@FaisalJavedKhan) November 18, 2020
In the aftermath of the announcement, PCB tweeted: “Thanks Mr Christian Turner, the PCB appreciates all your help and support. We look forward to hosting you in Karachi on 14 & 15 October 2021.”
Wasim Khan, PCB Chief Executive, while confirming the tour said: “I am delighted to confirm that England will be touring Pakistan to play two T20s in October 2021. This will be their first visit to Pakistan for 16 years and will open the door for both Test and White Ball tours in the 2022-23 season.
“The full-strength England squad will arrive at the backend of our home white-ball series against New Zealand. We also expect Australia to visit Pakistan for their FTP commitment in early 2022, with England returning for both Test and White Ball tours in the 2022-23 season.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) November 18, 2020
“The October 2021 T20Is will allow the leading England cricketers to access and examine the world-class arrangements we will put together, which will give them further encouragement and confidence to not only return in 2022-23 but also express their interest in the Pakistan Super League, which has grown to become one of the top leagues in the world.
“England’s visit to Pakistan for the 14 and 15 October 2021 T20Is will provide further lift to our passionate fans, both in Pakistan and across the globe. The nation has waited patiently for cricket to return sustainably to Pakistan and the 2021 tours by South Africa, New Zealand and England will only ensure international cricket is played uninterruptedly.
“The enhanced progress made over the last two years has been down to nurturing relationships with various cricket boards and international players, as well as building trust and confidence.
“The ECB’s confirmation further endorses Pakistan as safe and secure. Importantly, this announcement speaks volumes for the relationship that we have with the ECB and I would like to thank the ECB for their strong will and desire to make this short tour a reality.
“England’s visit in 2021 is an outcome of the PCB’s efforts and hard work to ensure Pakistan cricket continues to move in the right direction.”