England’s cricket team arrived in Pakistan on Sunday to play three Tests for the first time in the country since 2005. England played a successful T20I series two months ago in Pakistan but have declined to play a Test match there for 17 years because of the precarious security situation.
They were due to visit Pakistan last year but pulled out after New Zealand abandoned their tour minutes before the first one-day international, citing security alerts. There were fears of a similar pull out earlier this month following an attack on former prime minister Imran Khan during a protest march in Wazirabad.
But England’s Test skipper Ben Stokes quashed all fears following a positive security advice. “It’s been a long time since England have played Test cricket in Pakistan,” Stokes said in Abu Dhabi on Friday. “With what happened with Imran Khan recently, there was a little bit of concern, but we have Reg Dickason, who has been the security man for many years with England, and we left it in his capable hands. ”
“In terms of the tour itself, I’m really looking forward to it,” Stokes added. The squad and support staff were whisked to the team hotel under heavy security which Pakistan has been putting in place since the revival of international cricket in the country since 2015. But Pakistan have hosted multiple teams in the last seven years, the most notable being Australia earlier this year.