England confirm Pakistan series in UAE

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The Independent Online

England have confirmed they will play Pakistan in an away series in the United Arab Emirates this winter.

England will meet Pakistan, who are unable to host home series due to security concerns, in three Tests, four one-day internationals and three Twenty20s in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.



The tour adds to a winter programme that will also see England travel to the sub-continent to meet India in five ODIs and a Twenty20 in October, before a short two-Test series away to Sri Lanka in March-April.

The ECB confirmed the itinerary for the series in India and Sri Lanka in a press release today, while the details of the Pakistan tour have not been finalised beyond planning the trip for early in the new year.

The winter schedule, which begins on October 4 when England are due to arrive in India, will provide new limited overs captains Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad a tough initiation on foreign soil.



Cook, who began his 50-over tenure with victory over Sri Lanka at The Oval last night, will begin his first away tour since with two warm-up games before the series opener in Hyderabad on October 14.



The series will finish at the iconic Eden Gardens - the venue England were denied playing India at during the World Cup after the stadium was deemed not ready to host the game following its refurbishment.



The one-off Twenty20 will also be held at the Kolkata venue.



ECB chief executive David Collier said: "We are very pleased to have agreed an itinerary with BCCI for the forthcoming one-day Series which includes matches in India's major cities and will suit the needs of both the England team and our travelling supporters.



"With India due to play a NatWest Series here in September, there is bound to be intense interest in the return contest in India this October and we look forward to what should be a fascinating series of one-day encounters between the two teams.



"The remainder of the winter programme will see England travel to UAE early in the new year to play Pakistan in all three formats of the game followed by a short break in the UK before the team takes on Sri Lanka in a two-match Test series."



The Pakistan series, which interestingly includes three Twenty20s as England look to prepare for the defence of their World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka next year, is likely to slot in alongside the tour of Sri Lanka.



The two Tests against the Sri Lankans will be played at Galle, from March 26 and a venue in Colombo from April 3.



The ECB also confirmed that it would return to the island nation in November-December 2014 to complete a limited overs series.



In all England will play five Tests, nine ODIs and four Twenty20s in just over five months - a schedule that is far more accommodating than last year when the Ashes tour was followed by the World Cup.



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