England’s first Test series in Pakistan in 17 years to begin in Rawalpindi on Dec 1


Rawalpindi: England’s first Test series in Pakistan in 17 years will begin in Rawalpindi on December 1, the hosts said on Monday as they announced the match schedule.

Dates for a seven-match Twenty20 series starting next month have already been announced, but an England squad will return for the long-awaited three-match Test series.

“We are pleased that Pakistan and England Test rivalry, which has historically produced close and tight matches, will return to our backyards in December,” Pakistan Cricket Board director Zakir Khan said in a statement.

The tour opens with the first Test in Rawalpindi on December 1-5, before Multan hosts the second on December 9-13.

The third and final Test will be in Karachi on December 17-21.

England last toured in 2005, before Pakistan were forced to play international matches at neutral venues following an attack on the Sri Lankan team’s bus in Lahore in 2009.

International cricket has gradually returned since 2015, but suffered another setback when New Zealand pulled out of a tour minutes before a one-day international was due to start in September last year, citing security alerts.

A week later England scrapped tours to Pakistan by both its men’s and women’s teams.

Pakistan successfully hosted Australia for the first time since 1998 earlier this year.

“Pakistan cricket fans have waited for almost 17 years to see elite England players in action,” England and Wales Cricket Board interim chief executive Clare Connor said.

The three fixtures will count towards the ICC World Test Championship. Pakistan are currently fifth in the table and England seventh.

Schedule of Tests: First Test: December 1-5, Rawalpindi Second Test: December 9-13, Multan Third Test: December 17-21, Karachi