England postponement of BD tour puts Pakistan trip in doubt

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Lahore

England’s cricket tour of Bangladesh for September-October has been postponed until 2023, the two countries said Tuesday as both struggled with the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The nations’ cricket boards said they had ‘mutually decided’ to delay the three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals.

The postponement makes it possible for players from both teams to take part in the Indian Premier League, which resumes in the United Arab Emirates on September 19.

The cash-rich IPL was suspended in May as India was hit by a massive Covid wave and the pandemic affected cricket tours around the world.

England is also expected to tour Pakistan for two T20 matches in October, which is also likely to clash with the IPL.

However, PCB chairman Ehsan Mani maintains there is no threat to England’s aforementioned Pakistan trip.

‘Chief executive Wasim Khan has been in discussions with the ECB and agreed the tour arrangements with Tom Harrison.

As far as we are concerned, the visit is going ahead,’ Mani told SportsMail. England’s tour to Pakistan ends only eight days before they are due to play their first game in the T20 World Cup against Australia, leaving little time for players to quarantine in the UAE.

Cricket teams around the world are facing the pressure of intense scheduling and Covid disruptions.

England star Ben Stokes’ decision to take an indefinite break from cricket because of mental health concerns has, in part, been blamed on a packed tour schedule.

England will go to Bangladesh in the first two weeks of March 2023 to play the one-day games and T20s in Dhaka and Chittagong.—Agencies

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