LONDON, Nov 18 (Reuters) - England will visit Pakistan for the first time in 16 years when they play two T20 Internationals in October 2021, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Wednesday.

The short tour will serve as a build-up to the Twenty20 World Cup in India that is scheduled to start the same month, and comes as international cricket returns to Pakistan following a deadly terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009 that killed six policemen and two civilians.

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The matches are scheduled for Oct. 14 and 15, both in Karachi.

"This will be the first time since 2005 that an England team has toured Pakistan and as such it represents a significant moment for both nations," ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said.

"As always, the safety and welfare of our players and staff will be paramount. We are working closely with the PCB to ensure all the necessary plans are in place, especially concerning the anticipated levels of security around the team, the proposed travel protocols and of course the situation regarding the fast-moving and ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic."

Pakistan have hosted Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe on home soil since September 2019. Since the bus attack, they had mostly used Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi as home venues. (Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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