Pakistan team return after England tour


ISLAMABAD:     Pakistan national cricket team returned to the country after completing England tour – comprising three Tests and as many Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) – in a bio-secure environment.
England won the Test series 1-0. Pakistan won the final T20I to level the series 1-1 after the hosts secured victory in the second game. The first encounter was rained off.
Pakistan T20I captain Babar Azam, all-rounder Imad Wasim and young pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi did not return owing to their commitments with county cricket. Veteran Shoaib Malik stayed in England whereas bowling coach Waqar Younis flew to Australia.
The players were satisfied over their England tour amidst the coronavirus pandemic and termed it as a wonderful experience, adding that they learned a lot and played good cricket.
Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Executive Wasim Khan thanked and congratulated the 44-member squad on the completion of the challenging, demanding and unprecedented tour of England in the backdrop of the Covid-19 situation that made the players adhere to strict protocols, including restricted movement during their 10-week tour.
Wasim Khan said, “On behalf of the PCB, I am grateful to each and every player and support staff personnel for their extraordinary display of courage, sacrifice and dedication for the resumption of cricket during extremely tough and uncertain times. Not only the PCB, but the entire cricket community and fans acknowledge their gesture and appreciate them for rising to the occasion.
“It is human instinct to surround oneself with family and loved ones in times of trouble, but these men put the larger interests of the country and the game before themselves by committing to this tour. It has made me extremely proud that these men raised their hands for this unusual two-and-a-half-month-long journey despite an option to withdraw from it due to grave Covid-19 situation at their destination.
“During the tour, they not only played highly competitive cricket but strictly within the rich traditions of the game, which further enhanced the reputation and image of Pakistan, cricket and the PCB. While history will remember this tour as a series of missed opportunities, it will also remember these extraordinary cricketers who gave preference to cricket and national interests. With people like these, the future of Pakistan cricket is strong and safe.
“I also want to take this opportunity to thank the England and Wales Cricket Board for providing over-the-top hospitality to our team. They were looked after really well and were provided top-notch facilities.
“We will now look forward to working closely with ECB in the coming months to plan their tour to Pakistan in 2022.”