England tour of Pakistan likely to proceed as scheduled

First Test begins on December 1 in Rawalpindi

November 18, 2022
Shan Masood plays a shot during a Test match against England — AFP

RAWALPINDI: England’s tour of Pakistan, which includes three-Test series next month, is likely to go ahead as scheduled, according to sources.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has received the green signal to host the first Test in Rawalpindi from December 1.

This will be the first time England will play a Test in Rawalpindi, which has previously staged 12 matches with the home side winning five and losing three.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) security team is also satisfied with the arrangements for the series, the source added.

Earlier, due to a political party's march towards twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, it was feared that the first Test would be affected.

The England team will arrive in Pakistan on November 27 for the much-anticipated tour.

The second Test moves to Multan starting on Friday, December 9, and the final Test of the tour will take place at the National Stadium in Karachi, commencing on Saturday, December 17.

Imam eyes WTC Final

The series is important for Pakistan as they look to stay in the race for the World Test Championship (WTC) Final.

The Baba Azam-led unit are currently on fifth place in the WTC standings with 51.85 percentage of points won.

“Due to the World Test Championship, the series against England and New Zealand is important for us,” Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq told Geo News in an exclusive interview.

“We can stay in race for the final by winning three or four matches during the upcoming series,” he added.

The current cycle runs from July 2021 to June 2023 and comprises the top nine Test teams, all of whom will play six series each. The top two teams will compete in the final, which will be hosted by The Oval in June, 2023.

Pakistan have not named their squad for the Test series so far.

England squad

Ben Stokes (c), 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, Joe Root and Mark Wood.