PAK vs ENG, 1st Test: Security threats loom over series opener? Taliban ends ceasefire with govt.
PAK vs ENG, 1st Test: Cricket has finally returned to Pakistan and it is England who have visited after a gap of 17 years. The last time England visited Pakistan, Shoaib Akhtar, and Paul Collingwood were still playing, Virat Kohli hadn't debuted and India hadn't won the T20 World Cup. With the cricketing scenario completely changed today, it will be interesting to see how England challenge Pakistan on their home turf. Unfortunately for Pakistan, cricket and security issues go hand in hand and this time around too it is no different.
After the 2009 attack on Sri Lanka's national cricket team, international teams somewhat parted their ways with Pakistan and refrained from sending their teams over there. On March 3, 2009, a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers was fired upon by 12 gunmen near Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan. Upon reaching Pakistan on November 27, 2022, English skipper Ben Stokes addressed the security arrangements in Pakistan and said that he was certainly bothered by the attacks on Imran Khan in Wazirabad but he further expressed faith in his team's security management. According to the latest developments Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Monday called off an indefinite ceasefire agreed with the government in June. The militant group has asked its members to carry out attacks in the entire country.'
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Unfortunately for the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board), this statement was issued just a day after the English Cricket team landed in Pakistan. The militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, whose main motive is to impose its strict brand of Islam across Pakistan was set up as a group of several militant outfits in 2007. The first Test match is to be played in Rawalpindi and the series will begin on December 1, 2007. Both teams have started with their training sessions as they will look to outplay each other. In 2021, both England and New Zealand called their tours off citing security threats in Pakistan.
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Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (vc & wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Saud Shakeel, Shan Masood, Zahid Mahmood.
England squad: Ben Stokes (capt), 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, Mark Wood
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