England cricket team lands in Pakistan after 17 years
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England cricket team landed at Jinnah International Karachi Airport via Emirates EK-600 as a historic tour set to be kicked off after 17 years in Pakistan, reported 24NewsHD TV channel quoting Pakistan Civil Aviation (CAA) sources.
Both teams are set to clash in seven straight T20s starting from Sept 20.
Police and administration made full proof security measures en route hotel from the airport, said Karachi Police.
Also, England's skipper Jos Buttler will hold a press conference today.
Our Men's team have landed in Karachi ahead of our historic IT20 series against Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/TQEnKzaRpl— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 15, 2022
England team will arrive here on early September 15 to mark their first-ever tour in last 17 years. On their arrival, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will give a warm welcome to them in the city of cricket. The team will take rest after their arrival. Meanwhile, Buttler will hold a press conference at a local hotel.
The English team will start their training from September 16 here at National Stadium.
Karachi will host four T20Is whereas Lahore will host three. Buttler is likely to play in Lahore-leg of the series.
Pak vs Eng Series Schedule
The move infuriated the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), desperate to rehabilitate its security reputation, who called it "disrespectful".
Following a deadly 2009 attack by Islamist militants on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore, Pakistan were forced to play international matches at neutral venues such as the UAE, where they hosted England for series in 2012 and 2015.
Over the past five years, international cricket has gradually returned to Pakistan and earlier this year Australia toured successfully for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century.
- Strict security -
The PCB said that the Australia series had "demonstrated our event planning and operational skills" and expressed confidence that the England games will also pass off safely.
A helicopter will monitor their journey and shops and offices overlooking the stadium will be ordered to shut.
The security situation has vastly improved since then,but there has been an uptick in attacks since the Taliban stormed back to power in neighbouring Afghanistan.
In March an Islamic State suicide bomber attacked a minority Shiite mosque in the north-western city of Peshawar, killing 64 in the deadliest terror attack since 2018.
Most violence is confined to the porous border regions between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which has long been a hive of militancy.
- Rain does not stop play -
The tour comes as Pakistan grapples with catastrophic flooding that has left nearly a third of the country under water and affected at least 33 million people.
"I think hopefully us going out there and playing will be a positive for what's been a pretty harrowing time for the people of that country," said managing director of men's cricket Rob Key.
The 19-man England squad, captained by Jos Buttler, will play seven Twenty20 games against Pakistan in Karachi and Lahore from September 20 to October 2 as both teams tune-up for next month's T20 World Cup in Australia.
England will return in December to play three five-day Test matches.
With inputs from AFP