Jos Buttler might sit out of England’s seven-game Twenty20 series against Pakistan in an effort to stay healthy for the World Cup that starts next month.
Following a doctor’s advice to take it easy, Buttler, 32, said on Thursday that his calf injury would only allow him to play in the final two games at most. He added that the historic nature of the tour and the chance to get to know England coach Matthew Mott better were the main reasons he was there.
The cricket team from England arrived in Karachi on Thursday for their first trip to Pakistan in 17 years, a long gap brought on by security concerns.
England last played in Pakistan in 2005, and they were scheduled to return last year before abruptly cancelling after New Zealand also postponed a tour owing to safety concerns.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which is desperately trying to repair its security reputation, was outraged by the action and labelled it “disrespectful.”
Pakistan was forced to play international matches at neutral venues like the UAE, where they hosted England for a series in 2012 and 2015. This was because of a deadly 2009 terrorist attack in Lahore on the Sri Lankan team bus.
It is an injury that is not bad: Jos Buttler
Following a doctor’s advice to take it easy, Buttler, 32, said on Thursday that his calf injury would only allow him to play in the final two games at most.
“Speaking to the physios, it is an injury that is not bad, but one that has a risk of recurrence. You don’t want to push it too soon, especially with what we have ahead,” said Buttler.
“We have warm-up games in Australia so there is no desperate need to get as fit as possible. We’ve just got to take it as it comes. If I was available for the last couple, that would be the best-case scenario at the minute. It might come earlier than that, it might not at all, but the picture will become clearer in a week or so.”
‘As captain, coming back to Pakistan after a long time, I felt like it was important, whether I played the games or not.’
From September 20 to October 2, the 19-man side, led by Jos Buttler, will compete against Pakistan in seven Twenty20 matches in Karachi and Lahore in preparation for the T20 World Cup in Australia that will take place the following month.