Attack on Imran Khan: What the growing unrest mean for Pakistan cricket?
Imran Khan, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan and world-cup winning captain, recently suffered a bullet injury when a Pakistan national shot him while leading a long protest against the government in Punjab province on Thursday.
One person was killed, and at least ten were injured in the attack on Imran Khan’s envoy. But Ex-PM is currently in stable condition and was reportedly discharged from the hospital on Sunday evening. However, an assassination attempt on the legendary cricketer turned politician led to a nationwide protest in the country; schools were closed in the capital city, Islamabad, after his party – the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf – called for the massive protest following Friday prayers.
Security concerns: Mark Wood
Meanwhile, instability in Pakistan has also started showing its implication on the cricket field. A prolific England cricketer recently admitted that he feels worried and concerned over touring the South Asian nation following the attempted assassination of the former Pakistan Prime Minister.
“It’s not a great sign. I am worried about visiting the country post-T20 World Cup for a Test series. The fact is that he is an ex-cricketer, so it’s close to home for us. You respect ex-players and everybody who has played the game. It’s sad news to hear that as a group,” Wood said ahead of the England vs Sri Lank match on November 5 (Saturday).
The England pacer also claimed that it’s worrisome to tour a country experiencing such a magnitude of unrest. Notably, Wood is part of the squad due to tour Pakistan later this month, and he was also part of the white-ball squad that travelled to play seven T20 internationals in October, their first tour in the country for 17 years.
No unrest in Pakistan: Pak cricketer to The Quotes
Abdul Rauf, who played three Test matches, four ODIs and only T20 international, told The Quotes that there is no unrest-like situation in the country.
“An attack on Imran Khan must not be hyped too much. It’s great news that he has recovered, but foreign players must not feel any sort of security concerns. PCB, along with security agencies, have successfully hosted a couple of nations in the country, and I am confident that the upcoming New Zealand and England series will no such interruption,” Rauf told The Quotes.
He further stated that PCB has recently conducted Pakistan Junior League in the country, and sports are on their way to prosperity.
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England & New Zealand tours in Pakistan:
Days after T20 World Cup 2022, England will tour Pakistan to play three Test matches scheduled to start on December 1 at Rawalpindi. The other two Test matches are scheduled for December 9 & 17 at Multan and Karachi.
After hosting England, Pakistan will welcome New Zealand for two Test matches and three Tests. The bilateral contest will start with red-ball cricket on December 27 at Karachi National Stadium. Notably, New Zealand will stay in Pakistan till January 15, 2023.
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