The cricket team from England arrived in Karachi on Thursday for their first trip to Pakistan in 17 years, a long gap brought on by security concerns.
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.”
Pakistan was forced to play international matches at neutral venues like the UAE, where they hosted England for a series in 2012 and 2015. This was because of a deadly 2009 terrorist attack in Lahore on the Sri Lankan team bus.
International cricket has quietly made a comeback in Pakistan over the past five years, and earlier this year Australia completed a successful tour for the first time in almost 25 years.
England team hotel and Karachi’s National stadium will be sealed off:
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 be sealed off and guarded by security personnel on game days.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) September 15, 2022
Their route will be monitored by a helicopter, and companies that have stadium views will be required to close.
The Pakistani government was fighting off militants, including its own internal Taliban chapter, when Team last visited Pakistan.
From September 20 to October 2, the 19-man side, led by Jos Buttler, will compete against Pakistan in seven Twenty20 matches in Karachi and Lahore in preparation for the T20 World Cup in Australia that will take place the following month.
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