England train for Pakistan T20 series in Karachi amid heavy security - in pictures

Three Lions will play seven-match series in first visit to country in 17 years

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England's players have started training for their historic T20 tour of Pakistan, which begins in Karachi on Tuesday.

The seven-match series will be the first visit by the Three Lions to Pakistan in 17 years.

Security issues have meant Pakistan struggled to attract visiting sides since an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009. But tours have slowly resumed in the past few years.

England last played in Pakistan in 2005 and were due to visit last year, but cancelled at short notice after New Zealand pulled out of a tour citing safety concerns.

Earlier this year, Australia toured successfully for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century.

A 19-man England squad captained by Jos Buttler will play T20s in Karachi and Lahore from September 20 to October 2 as both teams tune up for next month's T20 World Cup in Australia.

Among the visiting players in focus will be England batsman Alex Hales, who said he has matured during his three-year absence from England's squad.

Hales, 33, was called up to the T20 World Cup squad this month as a replacement for Jonny Bairstow. In 2019, Hales was withdrawn from the preliminary squad for the 50-overs World Cup after reports of improper conduct.

"I think I have changed. I've definitely matured. I'm comfortably into my 30s now and turning into a veteran," Hales said.

"At the end of the day, it was my fault, wasn't it? You have to look yourself in the mirror and try to improve as a person and learn from your mistakes."

Hales, who has played in the T20 Big Bash League in Australia, said he was hoping to put his experience to good use during the T20 World Cup.

"I did think that the chance would not come again. It was disappointing not to be in the team for three years," Hales added.

"I felt like I'd been playing the best cricket of my career over those three years as well, so to get this chance again is something I'm really proud of and something I'm really looking forward to, especially the World Cup in Australia, somewhere I've got a lot of experience."

England players began training for the series in Karachi. Security measures, as expected, will be extremely high during the tour.

Updated: September 17, 2022, 11:57 AM
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