Pakistan’s tour of England not to be used as leverage for reciprocal tour - PCB

“This is about getting cricket back on again,” says PCB CEO Wasim Khan.

Pakistan is set to tour England for a Test and T20I series.   -  Getty Images

Although keen to tour England, Pakistan doesn’t wish to use it as “leverage” for a reciprocal English tour of Pakistan in 2022.

The Pakistan Cricket Board and the England and Wales Cricket Board have negotiated in recent days to finalise the details of Pakistan’s tour of the U.K. for a Test and T20I series. It would seem like an opportunity for the PCB to ask England to tour Pakistan, a country not many teams have toured after a terrorist attack on an international cricket team in 2009.

“There is a lot of cricket to be played between now and 2022, I’ve had that question raised a few times: has there been a deal cut? Is something going to happen?” Khan said on Sky Sports’ The Cricket Show.

“But the simple fact is and it’s a genuine answer: we need to get cricket back on again and now is probably not the time to try and leverage anything. Naturally things will take their course over the next two years,” he clarified.

‘Normalcy’

Khan said Pakistan would have many opportunities to prove to teams like England and Australia that it was safe to travel to and tour Pakistan. “We’ve got a lot of home series between now and then, which hopefully will all go successfully, and we’ll give more confidence to the likes of Australia and England, who are due to tour in 2022. But this is about getting cricket back on again. The cricketers want to play and I think it’s important for the global game as well that we start to bring a level of normalcy to playing cricket again - whatever that may look like - over the next six to 12 months,” he said.

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Commenting on the upcoming tour, Wasim said, “We need a 14-day quarantine period when we get to England and enough time to practice for the guys so they can be ready. That’s a bit of a challenge, so we’re looking at an extended squad. We’re looking at bringing around 25 players - more than normal. We are planning to get them together to train for the tour. We’re probably about a week away from that.”

‘Pleased’

Both the PCB and the ECB are still trying to map out the logistics of the tour. Wasim said Pakistan’s cricketers were looking forward to the tour. “We were really pleased with everything we heard from the ECB, in terms of all the provisions they are putting in place. The players are chomping at the bit; we’re very much looking forward to touring,” he said.

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Khan reiterated the importance of the health and safety of the players. “The players trust that we are going to do what is right by them. We are not going to jeopardise their health. We all want cricket to be played but not at all costs,” he said.

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