England will kick off their first tour of Pakistan in 17 years on Tuesday with the first of a seven-match Twenty20 series, which assumes even more importance for both sides ahead of the World Cup in Australia next month.
England were initially scheduled to tour Pakistan last year but it did not materialise because of security concerns. Jos Buttler’s men were only given the green light to tour this year after a security team evaluated the situation on the ground.
England will play four matches in Karachi and three in Lahore before returning in December to play three tests in the second leg of the tour. With Buttler set to miss the Karachi leg as he recovers from a knee injury, the side will be led by Moeen Ali, whose grandfather came to England from Pakistan after the second World War. “It is going to be memorable playing in front of the Pakistani crowds and also an immense honour to deputize for Jos Buttler, while he recovers from injury, and captain England,” Moeen wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.—Reuter