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EDITIONS

 Thursday, 26 December, 2002, 11:44 GMT
Pakistan invite England
Pakistan's batsmen on their way to a 2-1 series victory
England last toured Pakistan in 2000
Pakistan are hoping that Sri Lanka and England will visit early next year for a one-day series if India are unable to go through with their scheduled tour.

India are due to play three Tests and three one-dayers in Pakistan, according to the International Cricket Council (ICC) fixture list.

But the Indian government has for the last two years refused to allow the teams to play Tests against each other.

International fixtures
World Cup:
in SA, 9 Feb - 23 Mar
Pakistan:
Sharjah 1-10 Apr
India tour - Apr (tbc)
England
Zim Tests from 22 May
Sri Lanka
Sharjah 1-10 Apr
in Windies from 4 Jun
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Tauqir Zia said both the Sri Lankan board and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had been asked about their availability after the World Cup.

And he was confident that both sides could be convinced to play the triangular series in April or May.

Pakistan have not hosted a series since a bomb blast in May forced New Zealand to cut short their tour.

Australia asked to play their three-Test series at neutral venues in November.

But both South Africa and Bangladesh have agreed to tour late next year.

After the World Cup final on 23 March, England's next international fixture is the first Test of the domestic season, against Zimbabwe on 22 May.

Pakistan are due to play a three-match one-day NatWest Challenge series in England in late June, directly before the NatWest Series, involving England, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Normally, sides make a return trip after a team has toured.

England last visited Pakistan in 2000, losing the one-day series 2-1, but winning a three-Test series 1-0.

Zia said he had held a teleconference with the Indian board and ICC officials and asked them to set a deadline for confirming the tour.

"Right now we have not set a date for them to confirm the tour, but we would like them to do so as soon as possible," he said.

"We can't afford to keep waiting for long."

Pakistan struggle to attract touring teams

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