“There was a little bit of concern, but…”: England Test skipper Ben Stokes on security fears in Pakistan
The Ben Stokes-led England team have arrived in Islamabad ahead of their first Test series on Pakistan soil in 17 years. They were given a warm welcome by the local authorities ahead of their three-match series against Babar Azam & Co., starting on Thursday, December 1.
Notably, England were due to visit Pakistan last year, but they cancelled their plans after New Zealand abandoned their tour minutes before the first ODI, citing security issues. However, the Three Lions have fulfilled their promise this year by visiting the country, and once they landed in Pakistan, the ECB expressed its delight on Twitter.
“Touchdown in Pakistan for our Men’s Test squad!” England Cricket captioned its post.
The England captain’s first steps on Pakistan soil. 🏴🇵🇰
📹 @englandcricket #PAKvENG | #UKSePK pic.twitter.com/roCK3JkrGz
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) November 26, 2022
A security threat earlier this month had put this tour at risk again after the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan sustained bullet injuries to his leg during the shooting in East Punjab province when he was travelling to Islamabad for a campaign. But, Stokes has quashed all fears following positive advice from their security personnel.
“It’s been a long time since England have played Test cricket in Pakistan,” Stokes said in Abu Dhabi before leaving for Pakistan .
“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.
He signed off by saying: “I’ve never been there, and I’m quite interested to see what the security lark is like. I’ve heard it’s pretty intense.”
England Test squad for Pakistan tour:
Ben Stokes (c), Joe Root, James Anderson, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes (wk), Will Jacks, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone, Jamie Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Rehan Ahmed.