Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 27 May 2020

Pakistan's tour of England outlined: 'Bio-secure' hotels, combined squads and arriving one month early

Pakistan are scheduled to play three Test matches in August followed by three Twenty20 Internationals

Babar Azam, front, will captain the Pakistan Twenty20 side on the tour of England - if the tour goes ahead. AP Photo
Babar Azam, front, will captain the Pakistan Twenty20 side on the tour of England - if the tour goes ahead. AP Photo

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive Wasim Khan has said they plan to send a 25-man squad to England in July to meet the demands of playing an entire tour in a 'bio-secure' bubble.

Pakistan are scheduled to play three Test matches in August followed by three Twenty20 Internationals, with the matches taking place behind closed doors as part of measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) detailed the provisions they planned to implement for the tour in a presentation on Friday.

"From that point of view, in principle, we are planning towards touring England," Khan told Reuters, although he said the PCB would seek medical advice and government guidance before going on the tour

The UK government has said elite sport can return in June without spectators. England hope to begin their delayed summer of cricket with a Test series against West Indies in July.

Pakistan will have to arrive almost a month before the first Test to undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine period and get in some match practice.

The Test and T20 squads will travel together, giving team management options in the event of injuries.

"From a manageability point of view, it makes sense for us and the ECB that the whole squad travel as one, so you create a bubble if you like around those players for the whole of the time that they are in England," Khan said.

The ECB has not announced venues for the tour, but British media have claimed Manchester and Southampton, both with on-site hotels, are in line to stage matches.

Khan said venues would have testing centres and zones that would be off-limits to anyone other than players and officials.

"They are planning to create bio-secure hotels, a sort of environment around the players in certain parts of the hotel to keep the players safe and away from the general public," Khan said.

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Updated: May 20, 2020 12:58 PM

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