CricketThis tour is important for cricket and it is also crucial for us as a side, Says Moeen Ali
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With the first of a seven-match Twenty20 series that carries even greater significance for both teams ahead of the World Cup in Australia next month, England will begin their first visit of Pakistan in 17 years on Tuesday.

England was originally supposed to travel Pakistan last year, but it never happened due to security issues. Only after a security team assessed the situation on the ground were Jos Buttler’s troops given the go-ahead to travel this year.

Before returning in December to complete the second half of the trip with three tests, England will first play four games in Karachi and three in Lahore.

Buttler is expected to miss the Karachi leg while recovering from a knee injury, therefore Moeen Ali, whose family immigrated from Pakistan to England after the Second World War, will serve as the team’s captain.

“It is going to be memorable playing in front of the Pakistani crowds and also an immense honour to deputize for Jos Buttler, while he recovers from injury, and captain England,” Moeen Ali wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.

“Of course, this tour is important for cricket and it is also crucial for us as a side.

“Seven T20s will be a stern test in these conditions and a good pointer for where we are, ahead of the World Cup in Australia next month,” added Moeen Ali.

England last toured Pakistan in 2005 but at least 10 members of the current squad have some experience of local conditions courtesy of their Pakistan Super League (PSL) stints.

After missing three years of international cricket due to an incident off the field, one of them, Alex Hales, will be especially motivated to perform well. The disappointment of losing to Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final earlier this month will be put aside as Pakistan looks to move on.

Pakistan will try to work out the kinks during the course of the series. Their overall batting approach in 20-over cricket and skipper Babar Azam’s recent form slump have been major talking points.

On October 22, the day before Pakistan’s opening match against in-state rivals India in Melbourne, England’s Twenty20 World Cup campaign gets underway against Afghanistan in Perth.