England Cricket Team is all set to break their 16-year hiatus of not traveling to Pakistan after the ECB announced that the Eoin Morgan-led team will tour the terror-ravaged nation for two Twenty20 Internationals in October 2021 and all-rounder Moeen Ali believes that the development is a massive moment for the game of the cricket going forward, not least for Pakistan, who have been largely deprived of hosting international cricket since the unfortunate 2009 terror attack on the Sri Lankan team bus.
Moeen Ali reckoned that Pakistan fulfilling their commitment of traveling to England despite a raging global pandemic last summer has played a massive part in the development.
The Pakistan Cricket Team endured a bio-bubble life for more than two months in England this past summer during which they played three Tests and as many Twenty20 Internationals.
“It’s a massive moment for cricket going forward. I think it’s right we go back after such a long time for the game itself and for Pakistan and cricket in the country. We can’t wait to go there.” Moeen Ali told reporters via video-conference in Cape Town ahead of the T20I series against South Africa.
“The teams that came over — West Indies and Pakistan –- were amazing to have gone through the whole bubble after the coronavirus and all the news that cricket was on the edge. They helped massively with that.” Ali added.
Commenting on the development, ECB Chief Executive had termed England’s upcoming tour of Pakistan as a “significant moment for both nations”.
“We are working closely with the PCB to ensure all the necessary plans are in place. Especially concerning the anticipated levels of security around the team, the proposed travel protocols, and of course the situation regarding the fast-moving and ever-changing Covid-19 pandemic.” Tom Harrison said in a statement.
Meanwhile, PCB Chief Executive, Wasim Khan termed England’s decision to tour Pakistan as an endorsement for the safety measures that the board has taken in ensuring the safe return of international cricket in the country.
“The nation has waited patiently for cricket to return sustainably to Pakistan. The enhanced progress made over the last two years has been down to nurturing relationships with various cricket boards and international players, as well as building trust and confidence. The ECB’s confirmation further endorses Pakistan as safe and secure.” Wasim Khan said.
Misbah Ul Haq, Pakistan Head Coach, said that the successful staging of England’s tour to the country will encourage other countries to tour Pakistan in the near future.
“I think there can’t be bigger news for Pakistan cricket that England will tour Pakistan next year. A successful step towards the revival of the game. It will go a long way in helping players as well as for the game. Once England tour, then confidence will grow for major teams to tour. This is big news and a big achievement.”
England will travel to Pakistan for two T20Is which will be played on October 14 and 15. Post the series, Eoin Morgan’s men will head to India for the ICC T20 World Cup.