England news January 8, 2010

ECB agrees to T20s against Pakistan in Dubai

Cricinfo staff

England will play two Twenty20 matches against Pakistan in Dubai next month ahead of their tour of Bangladesh, the ECB confirmed on Friday. The matches will take place on February 19 and 20 and they leave for Dhaka the next day for a series against Bangladesh that includes three ODIs and two Tests.

The England Lions side are also scheduled to tour the UAE next month with T20 matches against England, the UAE and Pakistan A on the itinerary, followed by three 50-over games against Pakistan A.

Hugh Morris, ECB's managing director of cricket, said the two Twenty20 internationals against the current world champions would be an "exciting challenge" for the England team and provide Twenty20 international experience before the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in the Caribbean in April.

"The combination of three Twenty20 matches and three 50-over matches for the England Lions team, to be played at Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, will also provide those players with an excellent opportunity to push their case for selection for the England one-day side as we continue to build not only for the World Twenty20 in West Indies later this year but also for the ICC World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh."

Pakistan wind up their tour of Australia on February 5 while England will head to Dubai a month after their tour of South Africa concludes. The World Twenty20 will be held between April 30 and May 16.