The PCB will not decide on the English tour

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Retrieved 11 May 2020, 23:18 IST

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Pakistan Test captains Azhar Ali (left) and Muhammad Musa

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will take four weeks to decide whether the England tour will go ahead.

Pakistan are scheduled to start a three-match Test series against England at Lord’s on July 30, with three Twenty20 Internationals also scheduled.

However, there are doubts as to whether the tour will be held due to the coronavirus crisis, and spectators are more likely to enter the venue if the match goes ahead.

PCB chiefs and counterparts from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will meet on Friday.

PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said there was no rush to make such a big decision as Pakistan’s tour of the Netherlands had already been postponed.

He told reporters: “Health and safety is paramount for our players and officials and we are not going to compromise on that.

“The situation in England is bad now, and we will ask them about their plans. We are not making any decision, but in the next three to four weeks we will evaluate and make a decision.

“It’s not an easy situation, and it’s not an easy decision to make, because things are changing every day in England. There are a lot of things to consider – airplanes, hotels and they’re talking about bio-safety stadiums. So if people ask me, I’ll tell them. Wait and be patient.

“The longer they stay there, the more our players will be revealed. So there is speculation that speculation could escalate further, but I can confirm that it is not currently on the table.

“The West Indies tour of England is also uncertain, and we don’t know what to expect. So we look forward to the May 15 meeting and see what options there are.”

Khan stressed that they would not be affected when England decided to return to Pakistan for the long-awaited tour.

He added: “It’s a difficult situation for everyone right now, and I don’t think it’s fair to use that situation.

“The most important thing for us is to restore the game for all the countries. If we don’t do that, we will have to face a lot of problems to move forward.

“The next 12 months will be tough for cricket financially. Thankfully, the PCB is fine for the next 12 months but then, in 18 months, we will have problems too.

“Hopefully, cricket will start again by then and I don’t think we will discuss it with the ECB [with a tour of Pakistan a big factor], But we will definitely talk about it when we visit them.

“Look, the MCC visited Pakistan, a representative from Australia also came, so there is no reason for England and Australia not to be here in 2021 and 2022.”