The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday announced the schedule of England’s tour of Pakistan for three Tests, which will be played in December.
This will be England’s second half of the tour, following seven Twenty20 Internationals in Karachi and Lahore from September 20 to October 2. Ben Stokes’ side will open the tour with the first Test in Rawalpindi from December 1-5, before both sides move to Multan for the second Test from December 9-13. Karachi will host the third Test from December 17-21.
This will be the first time England will play a Test in Rawalpindi, which has previously staged 12 matches with the home side winning five and losing three. When England last toured Pakistan in 2005, they lost the Multan Test by 22 runs. The venue has staged five Tests, with Pakistan winning three and losing one.
The National Stadium was considered Pakistan’s happy hunting ground until Nasser Hussain’s side in 2000 ended Pakistan’s 34-Test unbeaten record, winning the third Test in near darkness by six wickets. Pakistan’s only other loss in 44 matches in Karachi was against South Africa, who won the 2007 Test by 160 runs. Nonetheless, with 23 Test wins, the National Stadium remains Pakistan most favourite Test venue.
PCB Director International Cricket Zakir Khan said: “We are pleased that Pakistan and England Test rivalry, which has historically produced close and tight matches, will return to our backyards in December. Both the sides have evolved since they last played in Pakistan in 2005 and have recently been playing entertaining and exciting cricket. I remain confident this series will live up to the expectations of the global cricket fans who want to watch and enjoy competitive and thrilling matches.
“Pakistan cricket fans have waited for almost 17 years to see elite England players in action. And although they have enjoyed watching a number of them live in the recent editions of the HBL Pakistan Super League, nation versus nation Test cricket is the pinnacle where international stars and heroes are born.”
ECB Interim Chief Executive Officer Clare Connor said: “The return of our men’s Test team to Pakistan for the first time since 2005 will be an historic occasion. The opportunity to play Test cricket in front of passionate cricket-lovers in Pakistan after such a long time is something to be cherished. “We have been working closely with the PCB over recent months and I am grateful to them for everything they have done, and continue to do, to make our Test and T20 tours a mouth-watering prospect for all involved.”
The three Tests will count towards the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23. No.4 ranked England are presently sitting in seventh position on the Test championship table, while sixth-ranked Pakistan are fifth.