Pakistan to tour England from late June

Shoaib Malik (R) will be a late arrival for Pakistan's Test and T20 tour of England.
Shoaib Malik (R) will be a late arrival for Pakistan's Test and T20 tour of England.

The Pakistan cricket squad will leave for England on June 28 to play three Tests and three Twenty20s internationals.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday confirmed the departure date and said the team would be quarantined for 14 days in Derbyshire, under restrictions in place for the coronavirus pandemic, but would be allowed to practise.

Selectors have chosen an extended squad of 29 for the tour so replacements are readily available in case a player falls ill.

Pakistan's cricketers have not played any competitive games since March 17 when the domestic PSL Twenty20 tournament was suspended because of the pandemic.

The PCB said apart from training and practice sessions in England, "there will be intra-squad matches to compensate for the lack of practice matches due to non-availability of local teams as the ECB is yet to commence its domestic season".

England will already be match-seasoned after a home Test series against the West Indies.

Allrounder Shoaib Malik, who will play in the Twenty20s, has been given special dispensation by the PCB to join the team in England on July 24 after spending time with his family.

Malik has not seen his wife, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, and one-year-old son Izhaan for five months since the imposition of international travel bans. Mirza and Inzhaan both are in India, while Malik has been in his hometown Sialkot in Pakistan.

"As travel restrictions are now slowly easing out and there is an opportunity for a family reunion, it is appropriate that at a human level we show compassion as part of our duty of care and respect Shoaib's request," PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said in a statement.

"We have spoken with the England and Wales Cricket Board ... and they have agreed to make an exception by helping Shoaib enter the country on 24 July. Of course, Shoaib will follow the UK government's policies on visitors entering the country before integrating with the side."

Australian Associated Press