After nearly 17 years, the England cricket team has finally touched down in Pakistan to play a seven T20I series against Babar Azam’s charges, in order to prepare for the next month’s T20 World Cup in Australia. England last visited Pakistan in 2005, but due to the uncertain security conditions after the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore, the Three Lions haven’t played in the country.
Under the leadership of wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler, England will play their first four matches at Karachi’s National Stadium. According to the security plan, the road between England team’s hotel and the stadium will be sealed off on match days. Aerial surveillance will be used when the team travels between the stadium and the hotel. Meanwhile, the last three T20Is will then be played at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium from. The matches will start from September 20 and will end of October 2.
The tourists were supposed to visit the country last year, but after New Zealand pulled out of the series just hours before the start of the first match, England also cancelled their tour. However, due to Pakistan Cricket Board’s strict stance, where they called the move ‘disrespectful’ and international pressure, the England and Wales Cricket Board agreed to move the tour to 2022.
Pakistan cricket suffered a lot due to the war on terror, which saw the Men in Green play all of their home series in the UAE after 2009. But thanks to the Pakistan Super League and efficient management by the PCB, international cricket has slowly and gradually returned to the country.
Australia was the last Big-Three team to visit Pakistan, from March 4 to April 5 this year, where they played three Tests, three ODIs and one-off T20. The team was satisfied with all aspects of the tour, including security, quality of cricket and most importantly the local cuisines.