PAK vs ENG: England cricketers arrive for first Pakistan tour since 2005
PAK vs ENG: Jos Buttler-led England touched down in Karachi on Thursday on their first tour of Pakistan in 17 years — a lengthy absence brought about by security fears.
England last played in Pakistan in 2005, and they were scheduled to return last year before abruptly cancelling after New Zealand also postponed a tour owing to safety concerns.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which is desperately trying to repair its security reputation, was outraged by the action and labelled it “disrespectful.”
Following a deadly 2009 attack by Islamist terrorists on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore, Pakistan compelled to host England for series in 2012 and 2015 at neutral sites like the UAE.
International cricket has slowly made a comeback in Pakistan over the past five years. And earlier this year, Australia completed a successful tour for the first time in nearly 25 years.
The PCB expressed confidence that the England games will also go ahead without a hitch, noting that the Australia series had “demonstrated our event planning and operational skills.”
Roads between the England team accommodation and Karachi’s National stadium will closed off. And also guarded by security personnel on game days.
Their route will monitored by a helicopter, and businesses that have stadium views will required to close.
Welcome to Pakistan, @englandcricket 🙌
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) September 15, 2022
The government of Pakistan was fighting an uphill war against Islamist extremists. Including its own domestic Taliban chapter, the last time England visited the country.
Although the security situation has significantly improved since then. Attacks have increased ever since the Taliban retook control of the neighbouring country of Afghanistan.
The deadliest terrorist attack since 2018 occurred in March when an Islamic State suicide bomber targeted a minority Shiite mosque in the northwest city of Peshawar, killing 64 people.
The porous border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan. That have long been a hotbed of militancy, are where the majority of bloodshed occurs.
However, militant strikes by Baloch separatists have recently targeted Karachi and Lahore. In Karachi in April, three Chinese nationals were among the four deaths.
The tour takes place as Pakistan struggles to recover from devastating flooding. That has submerged nearly a third of the nation and impacted at least 33 million people.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) stated last month that despite the humanitarian crisis. The team was “desperate” to play in Pakistan.
“I think hopefully us going out there and playing will be a positive for what’s been a pretty harrowing time for the people of that country,” said managing director of men’s cricket Rob Key.
The 19-man England squad, captained by Jos Buttler, will play seven T20 games against Pakistan in Karachi. And Lahore from September 20 to October 2 as both teams tune-up for next month’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
England will return in December to play three five-day Test matches.