Wasim Bari, the chief operating officer of the Pakistan Cricket Board, has confirmed his team will be playing two Twenty20 Internationals against England in Dubai next year. The matches, scheduled for February 19 and 20, will serve as a warm up for Pakistan ahead of their World Twenty20 title defence in the Caribbean in April and May. "We see the two matches as an opportunity to try to develop some new players and give more and more players the opportunity to play at the top level," said Bari. The last time Pakistan played England in a T20 international was in May at the Oval in a group game of the second World Twenty20, with the home team winning by 48 runs. Pakistan went on to eventually win the tournament by beating Sri Lanka in the final, sparking wild celebrations in a country where international cricket has come to a standstill due to security fears since the attack on the visiting Sri Lankan team in March.
Pakistan were consequently stripped of their rights as co-host of the 2011 World Cup and have played two "home" series - against Australia and New Zealand - in the UAE. The Dubai Sports City was one of the two hosts for Pakistan, and its general manager for sports business, Macky Dudhia, has welcomed the news of the forthcoming games. "We are constantly in touch with all the cricket boards around the globe over many different things," he said. "Our doors are always open for opportunities." Bari has also confirmed that the Pakistan A team will play three one-dayers against England A in the UAE in the spring. firstname.lastname@example.org