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Pakistan and England prepare for the T20 World Cup

Pakistan and England prepare for the T20 World Cup

Pakistan and England prepare for the T20 World Cup

Pakistan and England prepare for the T20 World Cup

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  • Australia tour helped Pakistan’s rehabilitation.
  • As safe place to play cricket after post-9/11 attacks.

Pakistan and England proceed with their development for the T20 World Cup next month after start of seven-match series in Karachi on Tuesday.

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The long-awaited return of England comes five months after Australia’s first trouble-free tour in 24 years, which helped Pakistan regain its reputation as a secure cricket playing nation.

Following years where they were had to play home matches in neutral venues due to a fatal attack on the Sri Lanka team van in 2009, international cricket has gradually returned to Pakistan.

The arrival of England was initially planned for October of last year but was abruptly postponed after New Zealand cancelled a tour due to safety concerns.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was outraged by England’s withdrawal and labelled it “disrespectful” as they worked to establish Pakistan as a safe travel destination.

In December, England, the current 50-over world champions, will play a Test series in Pakistan before welcoming back New Zealand.

After losing recent Twenty20 series to the West Indies (3-2), South Africa, and India, the visitors are eager to avenge those losses (both 2-1).

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After losing to Sri Lanka in the T20 Asia Cup final last week in the UAE, Pakistan is trying to bounce back.

‘Tough challenge’

Jos Buttler, the captain of New England since longtime captain Eoin Morgan retired last year, is recovering from a calf injury that may prevent him from playing in the series.

“It’s an important series for the build-up towards that World Cup,” said Buttler, who felt it was vital to travel with his side despite only having a chance of being fit for the final two matches.

“Obviously the main aim for everyone is to turn up fully ready for that World Cup,” said Buttler.

“Pakistan are a very strong team and will give us a really tough challenge,” added Buttler.

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In his absence, Moeen Ali will be the team’s leader.

Shan Masood, Pakistan’s top order batsman, believes that England’s batting will benefit from the explosive opener Alex Hales’ comeback after spending three years on the sidelines after testing positive for a recreational substance.

“I think England are one of the best white-ball teams,” said Masood, who will make his Twenty20 debut for Pakistan as a reward for scoring heavily for Derbyshire in the English T20 Blitz.

“England will pose a very good challenge for us and it’s probably the ideal preparation to play one of the best sides before the World Cup.”

On September 20, 22, 23, and 25, Karachi will host the first four matches, while Lahore will host the remaining three on September 28, 30, and October 2.

The England entourage is being surrounded by a security cordon fit for a head of state, much as it was successfully done for the Australia tour.

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On game days, 4,000 police and paramilitary men, according to officials, would be on duty to protect the teams and stadium.

Fans must park at least a mile away from the site and are then transported to the stadium on designated, secure buses after passing through rigorous bag and body searches.

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