English players satisfied with Pakistan security arrangements: sources

This is a historic moment for both the teams and their fans, says Marriyum Aurangzeb

Arfa Feroz Zake
English players talking to each other during the Australia ODI series. -BBC Sports
English players talking to each other during the Australia ODI series. -BBC Sports

  • England in Pakistan to play three Test matches
  • First Test to start on Thursday
  • Players to remain inside a security bubble, sources say

ISLAMABAD: The English cricketers are satisfied with the security arrangements in Pakistan, sources told Geo News Monday ahead of the first Test match scheduled in Rawalpindi from Dec 1.

The team arrived in Pakistan early Sunday to play three Tests for the first time in the country since 2005. England played a successful Twenty20 series two months ago.

They were due to visit Pakistan last year but pulled out after New Zealand abandoned their tour minutes before the first one-day international, citing security alerts.

There were fears of a similar situation earlier this month following an attack on former prime minister Imran Khan during a protest march in Wazirabad, a city in Punjab province.

But England’s Test skipper Ben Stokes quashed all fears after receiving positive security advice.

"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," Stokes said in Abu Dhabi ahead of their departure to Islamabad.

Meanwhile, sources told Geo News that the visitors were satisfied with the arrangements in Pakistan but they are living inside a security bubble.

“They are not allowed to go outside the bubble,” sources said, adding the visitors cannot order anything from outside and their chef will provide them with their favourite food.

The sources shared that the players will engage in different activities inside the hotel where facilities have been provided to them including a mini golf course.

“Ben Stokes brought his video games while Zak Crawley has brought his favourite card games with him.”

Coffee lover, Keaton Jennings, has his own coffee maker, they said.

The English team will start its outdoor practice session today while Pakistan players are already training in Islamabad.

Pakistan welcomes England team

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb welcomed the English cricket team and thanked everyone who made it possible.

“Pakistan welcomes the England Cricket Team for a test series for the first time since 2005. This is a historic moment for both the teams & their fans,” the minister tweeted.

“I commend the tireless efforts of all involved to make this happen, especially @CTurnerFCDO. Looking forward to an exciting series.”

England squad

Ben Stokes (capt), 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, Rehan Ahmed.