England and Pakistan to use T20I series to gauge World Cup readiness | Cricket News

KARACHI: England kick off their first tour of Pakistan in 17 years on Tuesday with the first of a seven-match Twenty20 series that holds even greater significance for both teams ahead of the World Cup in Australia next month.
England were originally due to tour Pakistan last year but that didn’t materialize due to security concerns. Jos Buttler’s men were only given the green light to shoot this year after a security team assessed the situation on the ground.
England will play four matches in Karachi and three in Lahore before returning in December to play three Tests in the return leg of the tour.
With Buttler set to miss Karachi’s leg as he recovers from a knee injury, the team will be managed by Moeen Ali, whose grandfather came to England from Pakistan after World War II.
“It will be memorable to play in front of the Pakistani crowd and also a huge honor to replace Jos Buttler, as he recovers from injury, and England captain,” Moeen wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
“Of course this tour is important for cricket and it is also crucial for us as a team.
“Seven T20s will be a stern test in these conditions and a good indicator of where we are, ahead of the World Cup in Australia next month,” added the all-rounder.
England last toured Pakistan in 2005, but at least 10 of the current squad have some experience of local conditions from their spells in the Pakistani Super League (PSL).
One of them, Alex Hales, will be particularly keen to impress after his three-year absence from international cricket due to an off-field problem.
Pakistan, meanwhile, will be looking to shrug off the disappointment of losing to Sri Lanka in the Asian Cup final earlier this month.
Skipper Babar AzamThe drop in form of and their overall batting approach in 20 over cricket have been major talking points and Pakistan will be looking to iron out the issues as the series progresses.
England start their Twenty20 World Cup campaign against Afghanistan in Perth on October 22, a day before Pakistan’s opener against India in Melbourne.

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