ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is weighing options to participate in the tri-nation T20 series in New Zealand ahead of the October’s World Cup with all eyes focused on the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) decision to confirm dates of their team’s scheduled trip to Pakistan at the earliest.
A PCB official told ‘The News’ that New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has invited Pakistan team to compete in the three-nation tournament in the first half of October 2022.
“Yes, I can confirm that the PCB has received an invitation to participate in the three-nation T20 event also involving Bangladesh. The event is set to be staged in the first half of October in New Zealand but we are not in a position at this point of time to confirm or turn down the invitation that we have received recently,” a PCB official added.
The reason for the PCB’s reluctance to confirm the participation is the scheduled tour of England team to Pakistan.
England cricketers are to play seven T20 Internationals starting somewhere from the third week of September.
“We have been only communicated by the ECB that their national team is to play seven T20Is in Pakistan ahead of the World Cup. We don’t know at this point of time as when the England team is to arrive as the schedule is yet to be finalised. ECB’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Harrison has resigned on Tuesday. Some other changes are bound to happen in the ECB, so we cannot accept the invitation unless and until we get a clear schedule from the ECB and at the same time we cannot turn down the invitation as it would be an ideal opportunity for our World Cup-bound team to train for the event starting from October 18 in Australia,” the official said.
‘The News’ has learnt that the PCB has approached ECB for early announcement of the schedule so that Pakistan cricketers can go ahead with the plans to compete in the tri-series.
“England will have to inform us about the T20 series schedule at the earliest so that we can go ahead with our plans to confirm and participate in the T20 tri series,” the official said.
Pakistan cricketers are facing a heavy cricketing schedule in the run up to the T20 World Cup. From September 1 to 17, the national cricket team will be engaged in the Asia Cup T20 to be held in Sri Lanka.
“The series against England is expected to begin after September 20. There are seven T20I matches to be played between Pakistan and England and these could run till the first week of September. All depends on the conclusion of the series. The seven-match series by all means will have to end by the first week of October, enabling the team to compete in the tri-series. So, we expect an early reply from the ECB, making it easier for us to take the final decision on the invitation.”