Warwickshire among England counties considering Pakistan for pre-season tour

Club mulling visit to Lahore to prepare for 2021 season after revelations England may travel to the country

George Dobell
George Dobell
Will Rhodes gets forward to drive  •  Getty Images

Will Rhodes gets forward to drive  •  Getty Images

Pakistan's reputation as open for business looks set to take another step forward with news that at least a couple of England's first-class counties are considering the country as an option for their pre-season tours.
Days after ESPNcricinfo revealed that England are considering a short tour to the country in January, it has emerged that Warwickshire are considering visiting Lahore as part of their preparations for the 2021 domestic season.
ESPNcricinfo understands the club have held talks with Pakistan CEO, Wasim Khan, with a view to sending the entire first team squad to the country in March. Wasim, a former Warwickshire player, is believed to have guaranteed good quality training facilities and opposition.
If the tour goes ahead, it seems likely the side will be based at Aitchison College. Two senior Warwickshire players, Will Rhodes, the club captain, and Oliver Hannon-Dalby, went on the MCC's tour to Pakistan in February, which was also based at Aitchison College. Both enjoyed the experience and have given positive reports about the facilities on offer.
A final decision will not be made until the club are satisfied that the tour is safe in terms of both security and Covid-19. Finances could also be an issue, with the club also understood to be considering La Manga, in Spain, as a pre-season option.
Either way, the fact that Pakistan is being considered for such visits is a sure sign of progress. England have not visited the country since late 2005 due to security concerns.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo