England cricket tour to Pakistan called off: reports

London (AFP) –


England's first cricket tour of Pakistan in over 15 years, due to take place early in 2021, will not go ahead, according to British media reports.

The BBC and the Press Association (PA) reported that England would not be able to send a strong enough squad.

England are already committed to playing Sri Lanka and India in early 2021 so a second-string squad would have had to be selected for the Pakistan series.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced in October that talks over a short, limited-overs tour were taking place which would be their first on Pakistani soil since 2005.

The possibility of a series in the autumn, in preparation for the Twenty20 World Cup, is now being explored.

Pakistan gained favour with the ECB in going ahead with their tour of England earlier this year -- as did the West Indies -- despite the restrictions placed on the squad due to coronavirus protocols.

Pakistan played three Test matches, three one-day internationals and three T20Is in England.

International cricket in Pakistan was put on hold in 2009 after gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team bus during the second Test in Lahore.

England have subsequently played Pakistan on neutral territory in the United Arab Emirates, but Pakistan have indicated any future meeting must be on home soil.