Western Morning News (Saturday)

Knight to lead England on first-ever tour of Pakistan

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HEATHER Knight is set to captain England in a series of matches of Pakistan – which will mark the first time the women’s national team has toured the Asian country.

It has been confirmed that the women’s national team – skippered by the 30-year-old who grew up in Plymouth and played club cricket for Plymstock – will tour the nation later this year with three one-yay internatio­nals scheduled between October 18 and 22 in Karachi.

The team will also play a twomatch Twenty20 internatio­nal series in the same city which will act as a double header with the England and Pakistan men’s teams, who will also be facing each other on October 14 and 15.

No England team has played internatio­nal cricket in Pakistan since 2005 following a terror attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in 2009, while the women’s team has never toured the country.

Clare Connor, managing director of women’s cricket at the England and Wales Cricket Board, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be making this historic announceme­nt today.

“The England Women’s cricket team has never toured Pakistan before so this is another important step in our history and journey.

“Not only will this be a cricket tour that provides valuable competitiv­e opportunit­y to both teams, it should also serve as another powerful and positive message as we drive forward our equality ambitions for more women and girls to derive empowermen­t through the sport.” Wasim Khan, chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board, was delighted with the announceme­nt.

He said: “World champions England accompanyi­ng their men’s side for their first-ever tour to Karachi is an extremely powerful and strong announceme­nt for Pakistan, our women’s cricketers as well as for the global sport.

“While this presents a great opportunit­y for the PCB to showcase the image and profile of women’s cricket, it is a chance for the women cricketers to demonstrat­e their talent and skills, and play their part in attracting, inspiring and motivating the next generation of women cricketers so that they can also fall in love with this great sport.”

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