Pakistan are all set to create a first when they tour England for the ICC World Test Championship next year when they tour Netherlands and Ireland for ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals respectively. In a statement by the Pakistan Cricket Board, the team will tour Netherlands for the first time and they will play three ODIs. This will be the first bilateral series encounter between the two sides but they have met thrice in ICC World events. Apart from three ODIs against Netherlands, Pakistan will play Ireland for two Twenty20 Internationals.
"The VRA Cricket Club in Amstelveen will host the three ODIs on July 4, 7 and 9, while the two T20Is in Ireland will be played on July 12 and 14," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement. Not only will this be the first time Pakistan play a bilateral series in Netherlands, they will also tour Ireland for the first time for Twenty20 Internationals. Ireland played their first-ever Test match when they took on Pakistan in Belfast in 2018. Pakistan withstood an onslaught from Kevin O'Brien and they won by five wickets.
Speaking about the development, both Netherlands and Ireland cricket board welcomed the tour. "This series will contribute significantly in our endeavours to put together a strong and formidable side for the 13-team ICC ODI League, which commences next year. It will provide the much-required exposure and experience to our talented men's side and will also help in the promotion and development of the game in our part of the world," KNCB chair Betty Timmer said.
Cricket Ireland's performance director Richard Holdsworth said Ireland and Pakistan have a close affinity, both across men's and women's cricket. "The two-match series will be well-timed, being just 12 weeks from the start of the T20 World Cup, a tournament that we hope to be joining Pakistan via the Qualifier tournament later this year," he said.
After the tour of Netherlands and Ireland, Pakistan will travel to England where they will play three World Test Championship Tests from July 30 to August 20 before taking on the 50-over world champions in three T20Is on August 29 and 31 and September 2 respectively. Pakistan had toured England in 2018 and the two-match Test series ended 1-1. In the previous series between the two sides in 2016, Pakistan and England played out a 2-2 draw. However, in the 2019 series before the World Cup, Pakistan lost the one-off T20I and the five-match ODI series 1-4.