England’s tour of Pakistan for two T20Is leading up to the ICC T20 World Cup is currently in jeopardy after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) struggled to close in on venues for the matches.
The PCB was keen to host both matches, scheduled on October 14 and 15 in the UAE. However, with the second half of IPL 2021 and the T20 World Cup scheduled in the UAE, Pakistan had to scrap their plans.
Speaking to The Telegraph, a source said:
“When the PCB can’t host the PSL (Pakistan Super League) in its own country because of the pandemic, how can it even think that England will tour Pakistan? The only option left is having it in Sri Lanka, which doesn’t seem feasible. Even if the tour does happen, England will have to do without their IPL stars.”
With the bilateral series between England and Pakistan all but over, the English cricketers will now travel to the UAE for the second half of the 2021 Indian Premier League. The source added that the cricketers are keen to play in the marquee T20 league to prepare for the ICC T20 World Cup.
“Most of the top players want to play the IPL this time because of the T20 World Cup which begins on October 17. It gives them an opportunity to get used to the conditions in time for the showpiece event,” he added.
Previously, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was firm that they would not release their players for the second half of the IPL 2021. But with the Bangladesh series postponed and the Pakistan tour in jeopardy, officials have softened their stance and allowed their players to take part in the cash-rich league.
England tour of Bangladesh pushed back to 2023
The ECB and Bangladesh Cricket Board (ECB) have mutually decided to postpone England’s tour of Bangladesh to March 2023. The limited-overs series was originally scheduled to take place in September 2021 ahead of the T20 World Cup.
“The tour is planned to take place in the first two weeks of March 2023, with three ODIs and three T20Is due to take place in Dhaka and Chattogram,” the statements said.
The developments will now allow both England and Bangladesh cricketers to take part in the second half of IPL 2021 scheduled to start on September 19.