Pakistan’s tour of England could go ahead as positive talks were held between the PCB and ECB over the arrangements for the Test and T20I series.
According to a report in The Telegraph, the discussions will carry on further from the meeting on May 15, before a final call is made. It is expected that England’s summer schedule is starting to take shape as cricket will be played behind closed doors.
It is understood that Pakistan are likely to bring over 25 players to cover both red and white ball squads and play inter squad matches. The usual scenario of bringing in white-ball specialists later on won’t be the case this time.
The testing capacity will be the priority as cricketers will be tested regularly to avoid any sort of outbreak. Pakistan are expected to arrive in early July, most likely on a charter flight provided by the ECB to avoid any sort of risk of contracting the virus on a commercial airline. Testing capacity and temperature checks will be present at the grounds during games.
“We had a very thorough briefing and were pleased with what we were told,” said PCB chief executive Wasim Khan as quoted by Telegraph Cricket.
“A lot of time and energy has gone into the plans. The attention to detail was impressive and we are satisfied that safety will be the number one priority at all times. We stand in solidarity with the ECB. The cricket family needs to be united to make sure cricket starts moving in the right direction again. It is a very critical time for the game and we have been massively reassured by the plans put in place by the ECB.”
The two coaches from England and Pakistan – Misbah-ul-Haq and Chris Silverwood were also present in the conference call but the discussions were mostly between the medical panels of both boards. Pakistan are scheduled to play three and as many T20Is on their tour, which starts from August 5.
Venues have not been finalized yet but Old Trafford and the Ageas Bowl are likely to host the Tests, with Edgbaston reportedly on standby too.