England skipper Joe Root has expressed his willingness to tour Pakistan but warned finding an open window in a compressed schedule ahead of the planned visit in 2022 would be tough.
Root's comments follow a positive response from England head coach Chris Silverwood, who made similar remarks on the matter.
Speaking in the aftermath of the drawn Test match at Southampton, Root said he would love the opportunity to bat at the traditionally flat surfaces in Pakistan.
“I'd love to go and visit Pakistan,” the top-order batsman told reporters in a virtual press conference.
“It would be a great opportunity to go and play there personally. Unfortunately, it's not my decision to make but it looks like a wonderful country to go and play cricket in.
“The wickets look nice and flat, which will be a nice change to what we have just played on here,” he added.
Test cricket finally returned to Pakistan after a gap of more than 10 years when they hosted Sri Lanka in December. The red-ball clashes against Sri Lanka and later Bangladesh were greeted by a sea of supporters cheering for the home side.
Root claimed to be moved by the rousing reception of Test cricket in Pakistan and recounted how much it meant for some of the opposition's cricketers to play at home.
“You could see the emotion of everyone back in Pakistan when Test cricket was there at the back end of last year,” he said.
“Also, speaking to a few of the players, how much it meant to them as well and they really appreciated being able to play back in Pakistan too.”
Although England's scheduled tour of Pakistan is set for 2022, PCB chief executive Wasim Khan has floated the idea of a brief series between the two nations in the South Asian country before the stipulated time period.
“We'd love to have them coming over well before then for a shorter tour,” Khan said recently.
“It's something that we'll speak to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) about.”
But the dynamics of arranging additional fixtures within an increasingly condensed international programme due to the coronavirus pandemic seems a bit unrealistic. Root also felt such a plan could not be feasible to implement.
“We've such a busy schedule already with backlogging due to Covid-19, it will be interesting to see how that would work,” he said.