Doubt lingers on England-Pakistan's 1st Test due to political disorder
England are touring Pakistan for a Test series after 17 years but the series may not go as planned as political unrest grips the host country. The first Test which was scheduled to play in Rawalpindi has seen a spanner thrown in the works due to the rising tempers in Pakistan after an attempt at the assassination of Imran Khan. This has cast doubts over the certainty of the first Test match happening in the scheduled venue and there are talks to move the Test match to Karachi.
The fresh assassination attempt of Imran Khan means that he and his rabid supporters plan to stage a protest which will marathon from Islamabad to Rawalpindi. The two teams are set to touch base in the capital where the first Test is scheduled, a swap with Karachi is in the pipeline.
This change in plans would not affect the agreed dates of the historic Test series with only the first Test to be played in Karachi. This would mean that Karachi will host the series opener and its finale with the second Test to be played in Multan, unchanged.
The attempt to assassinate the disgraced former Prime Minister Imran Khan caught the England cricket team’s attention too. Ben Stokes expressed concerns over what came about and was shocked to learn about the assassination attempt.
Stokes who is going to captain England in the Test series, said before their T20 World Cup victory against Pakistan in Melbourne,
“What happened was a bit of a shock but Reg has been out there.
“He’s been the main security man for England for many years and in my opinion, he’s the best man to assess the situation. Whatever Reg comes back with, the players and people on that tour trust him 100% because he’s a man you trust your life with.”
Reg Dickason is the security consultant to the England and Wales Cricket Board.
There is no confirmation as to the tour being completely jeopardised to happen, however, with England's recent tour to England for a seven-match T20 series in which England won 4-3, the ECB will look to avert any possibility of calling off the tour. If we cast our minds back, it was the ECB who withdrew from the tour last year.
England squad: Ben Stokes captain, James Anderson, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, Will Jacks, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone, Jamie Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Mark Wood